The 2021 Adelaide Festival programme has been prepared over the turbulent year that was 2020 – featuring 70 events, 10 world premieres, 14 Australian premieres and 18 exclusive-to-Adelaide events.
Genres the festival covers include theatre, music, opera, dance, film, food and visual arts, with programmes from Adelaide Writers' Week, Chamber Landscapes at UKARIA and WOMADelaide.
"For us the ‘old normal’ was spending a third of our lives in an utterly abnormal way: racing from airport to airport, from theatre or concert hall to hotel, from hotel to airport, on repeat," Adelaide Festival Artistic Directors Rachel Healy and Neil Armfield say. "A period of enforced stillness has caused us to reflect on how easy it is to take for granted those precious tenets of arts festivals: that bringing people together to experience something new – whether beautiful, troubling, funny or challenging – is essential nourishment for society."
"The connection forged between performer and audience, and indeed audiences witnessing human creativity together, is a primal experience. We are longing to bring it back to everyone’s lives."
The festival's opening event will feature a concert by pop star, actress and songwriter Jessica Mauboy, performing at Adelaide Oval.
Meanwhile, the 2021 Festival Club, dubbed The Summerhouse, will be the hub of the festival and venue for its contemporary music programme.
The Live From Europe programme will star four unique, specially-commissioned live performances on four European mornings across four Australian nights: Star pianist, Russian-German Igot Levit; Simon Stone's 'Madea'; Olivier Award-winning dance event 'BLKDOG'; and 'Eugene Onegin' by Alexander Pushkin.
Dami Im will perform at The Summerhouse
Other theatre highlights include 'A German Life', 'Set Piece', 'small metal objects', 'Fangirls' and 'High Performance Packing Tape'.
Adelaide Festival's hub, The Summerhouse, will be christened by a line-up of Australian contemporary music. Some of the artists confirmed to date are San Cisco, Ben Lee, Donny Benet, Jaguar Jonze, Dami Im, Torrio! and Mo'Ju.
"We are particularly delighted to partner with the Adelaide Film Festival in presenting the gala world premiere of Molly Reynolds and Rolf de Heer’s documentary 'My Name Is Gulpilil'," Rachel and Neil say.
"This film is the culmination of a series of collaborations David Gulpilil has had with the Adelaide Festival, beginning in 2002 when 'The Tracker', commissioned by Artistic Director Peter Sellars, premiered with accompanying live music score sung by Archie Roach. David also appeared in the same year alongside Greg Rowe at the unforgettable Tarntanyangga screening of 'Storm Boy'."
One of the first literary festivals in the world to return will be Adelaide Writers' Week, presented during Adelaide Festival. The line-up includes Richard Flanagan, Kate Grenville, Trent Dalton, Craig Silvey, Cerdiwen Dovey, Richard Fidler, Alex Miller and Sofie Laguna, as well as ex-Prime Minsters Julia Gillard and Malcolm Turnbull. Tickets are on sale now.
Adelaide Festival 2021 is on from 26 February-14 March.