2013 certainly is the year for celebrations! The Adelaide Festival Theatre celebrates 40 years on Sunday 2 June and coincides with the 100th year anniversary of Her Majesty’s Theatre in Grote Street.
Forty years ago, with the incredible foresight and ambition of Premier Don Dunstan, Adelaide lead the way in the arts and cultural arena, boasting the first purpose built performing Arts Centre in Australia. “The Festival Centre ‘will be a source of great pride to the people of South Australia and the City of Adelaide. It will also, I believe, be an inspiration to the whole of Australia.” Gough Whitlam
Throughout June, the rooftop of the Festival Theatre will light up at night, becoming a canvas of projections that reflect the spirit of local and international artists that have traversed the grounds of the Centre throughout its colourful history.
Tonight (Friday 31 May) and tomorrow night (Saturday 1 June) @ 8pm, on the Festival Theatre stage, the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra (ASO) present the world premiere of Fanfare Festiva – a fanfare for the next forty years, commissioned by Adelaide’s Graeme Koehne.
Followed by Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, “Choral” – Ode to Joy, which was exquisitely and enthusiastically conducted by Arvo Volmer, is a fitting masterpiece to celebrate this auspicious occasion, conveying the magnitude of history and future prospects of the broadening international horizons of the Adelaide Festival Theatre.
Artistic Director and CEO of the Adelaide Festival Centre, Douglas Gautier presented a heart-warming speech to a thriving full house of local supporters, patrons and invited guests. Mr. Gautier’s speech made reference to the rhetorical question, ‘What is Art worth?’ and accompanied an impassioned request to the community at large, to support the much needed renovations of the Centre. In line with the incredible tales of history, Gautier reflected on the amazing achievement of $100,000 last minute funds that were gathered in a week, in response to a public appeal to complete the Centre, some forty years ago.
‘Ode to Joy’ brought tears to my eyes, tears of joy ran done my cheeks, as I breathed through the majesty of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. I was elated and proud to be present at this celebratory performance, delivered with all the precision, passion and dedication of the ASO.
Conductor: Arvo Volmer
Soprano: Sara Macliver
Mezzo Soprano: Sally-Anne Russell
Tenor: Paul McMahon
Bass: Stephen Bennett
Adelaide Symphony Orchestra
Adelaide Symphony Chorus
The celebrations continue throughout the year, including the Festival Theatre Variety Gala on Thursday 6 June, the OzAsia Festival from 13-29 September and numerous exhibitions and tours.
The major fundraising event for Her Majesty’s Theatre is a one night only Centennial Gala Concert on Friday 6 September. Check out dates and details at http://www.adelaidefestivalcentre.com.au/whats-on/anniversary-events.aspx
In this year of milestones, I am so proudly South Australian, so grateful to be ever-enriched by an industry that continues to inspire, educate and entertain and feel truly blessed to have access to such a smorgasbord of world class art and culture.
© Patricia Herreen 2013