2008 Reviews

David Helfgott in Recital

David Helfgott in Recital

Throughout the performance, David Helfgott brought genuine heart to an artform which has been surrounded in pretension. With his regular visits to the audience, Helfgott seemed part featherweight boxer, part pianist. This said, he was all class, and he can certainly play piano very well. To quote Pink Floyd; "Shine on you, crazy diamond".


Camut Band

Camut Band

These guys were spectacularly different, tap-dancing and drumming their way into the hearts of the audience with humour and superb skills. Tremendous rhythm, skill, balance and coordination, and a great sense of fun.


Strange Resting Places

Strange Resting Places

The performances by all three actors are terrific. Each plays various characters, some naturalistic in style and requiring pathos, and others such as a hilarious hen by Mokaraka, much more impressionistic. Whatever the demand, last night, be it singing or slapstick theatre, these guys rose to the challenge. Ka pai.


New Zealand String Quartet

New Zealand String Quartet

A capacity audience heard an excellent performance by the New Zealand String Quartet which encompassed the very serious Shostakovich 13th Quartet…… The audience was spellbound: the performance excellent. Bravo. All in all this was an extraordinary performance of works.


Cosi Fan Tutte

Cosi Fan Tutte

Director Jaqueline Coates has created a sparkling production, musically dynamic and delightfully Mozartean. This opera is predominantly vocal ensemble work, and balance of harmony was excellent, securely delivered technically, from confident performers.


Mikelangelo & The Black Sea Gentlemen

Mikelangelo & The Black Sea Gentlemen

A capacity house thoroughly enjoyed the dynamic Mikelangelo and his black, farcical, twisted and lugubrious band of gentlemen. With tongues firmly in their cheeks, this troupe of depraved misfits, each with his own story to tell, crooned their way excellently through a line-up of sublimely ridiculous tales. This is cabaret in the best European sense, stylish, oh-so-serious and timed to perfection


Tricicle

Tricicle

Their approach has the childlike innocence of the great comedians such as the Marx Brothers or JaquesTati. Funniest of all is the final sequence where the trio become toddlers in nappies: their uncertain totterings on legs that manage to look tiny and unreliable are hilarious and touching. Tricicle's humour pokes fun at human pretensions and idiocy and appeals to anyone of any age.


Tierra Flamenca

Tierra Flamenca

The packed auditorium was treated to an unforgettable display by six international performers. Dancers Francine Sweet and Jonatan Miro used every muscle in their bodies to match the fire and passion of exhilarating Gypsy music…Heels were clicking and clacking, swirling skirts and frillies flying, as arms and hands told stories. - all very spectacular. The flying fingers of Jesus Avarez(guitarist)… outstanding at his craft - Luis Pena …brilliant jaleo open-hand Flamenco rap accompaniment. The audience loved it and rewarded the group with loud and spontaneous clapping, especially at the last when each musician offered an impromptu flamenco demo. Ole!


Hatch or the Plight of the Penguins

Hatch or the Plight of the Penguins

Hatch is thought-provoking on many levels. When it was over we applauded madly- but who were we applauding? Hatch perhaps, but more likely Stuart Devenie, who in just over an hour has brought Hatch to life in all his complexity. We also applauded playwright Geoff Chapple, director Colin McColl and the Otago Festival of the Arts, which has brought us this insight into a fascinating fragment of New Zealand history.


Il Trovatore

Il Trovatore

Southern Opera almost filled the Regent Theatre for this Otago Festival of the Arts final main attraction. Il trovatore is a deep, dark tale of love, vengeance and passion, and Southern Opera delivered the dramatic conflicts of tragedy and betrayal with high standards of professionalism in every area.


William Yang's China

William Yang's China

Far more than a travelogue, this is an intriguing and informative exploration in the company of a courteous, enthusiastic and knowledgeable guide with a sly sense of fun.


Nine Artists in Fiordland

Nine Artists in Fiordland

St Paul's Cathedral was the backdrop to paintings by Nigel Brown, Claire Beynon, Marilynn Webb, Gregory O'Brien and Wayne Seyb, jewellery by Lynn Kelly and working drafts of poetry and music by Gillian Whitehead, Glenn Colquhoun, Gregory O'Brien, and Alan Roddick. An audiovisual display of Mark Orton's film documentary of the trip, underscored by Gillian Whitehead's original music, added a further creative layer to this dynamic exhibition in 2008.


Ballantine's Festival Club

Ballantine's Festival Club

The Festival's late night venue drew Festival goers who wanted to soak up more Festival atmosphere. Local and national artists rewarded their audiences with a cocktail of blues, jazz, mellow ballads and driving rhythms.