Sydney set to come alive at 2014 Sydney Festival

13 December 2013

Sydney Festival

Sydney Festival – Image Credit Jamie Williams

The Sydney Festival is an annual extravaganza of entertainment and excitement, and its coming to the city in 2014 from January 9-26.

During these two weeks, there are countless opportunities to see some of the best cultural and musical offerings from Australia and around the world, so be sure to plan your visit in advance to see as many of them as possible! Here are some of our top suggestions for things to see and do during this fantastic festival:

Music

Sydney’s Town Hall is part of the action for nine nights with Paradiso, a showcase of exciting names on the music scene right now. Consider booking your tickets to see Argentina’s La Orquesta Tipica Fernandez Feirro – a full 12-piece band who together bring a new and exhilarating take on the acoustic tango. Or, for a local performance, check out Mick Harvey – ‘Intoxicated Man’ – who will wow audiences with his impressive voice and six-piece band.

Then there’s the massive festival in the domain on January 11. This outdoor concert is totally free and will make a great stop for anyone looking for a relaxing picnic and entertaining evening.

Every now and then a musical performance comes along and gets a whole city talking. ‘Eclipse’ is one such experience. Grammy award-nominated duo Amadou and Mariam will tell their story and use their incredible voices to serenade the audience – all in the pitch black Sydney Town Hall. This blind married duo shows everyone just how impressive the voice can be, especially when we don’t rely on sight.

Bringing the classical music scene into the 21st century, several music groups are coming to the city. The world-famous Akademie Fur Alte Musik Berlin is in demand for performances all around Europe and the Americas, but will be putting on their best works including pieces from Bach, Telemann and Vivaldi for one show only on January 18 as part of the festival.

Another classical music group, The Hilliard Ensemble, will perform two concerts for the Sydney festival. These four men are a distinguished vocal chamber group celebrating their 40th year of performances. This January will mark an unmissable final two nights of entertainment.

Finally, The Apollo Ensemble will be lighting up the stage at The Great Synagogue on January 14 and 15 with their Jewish baroque take on classical music. As a relative newcomer to the classical scene, this group has shot to stardom with their stunning renditions of music from Jewish and Christian composers.

Performing arts

There are so many theatre events going down in Sydney during the festival that you’ll hardly know which one to go to first, but one performance you should definitely consider is La Cucina Dell’arte, a circus and theatre mix that will keep you laughing all night.

Another one to watch is Mr Fixit in his live stage show Kaput, where he’ll take the stage with his award-winning performance of chaos, comedy and acrobatics.

One of the highlights of the entire festival will be the spectacle that is the Dido and Aeneas performance, skilfully orchestrated by Berlin choreographer Sasha Waltz. With the help of renowned baroque orchestra Akademie fur Alte Musik Berlin, this theatre production takes the tragic tale of forbidden love to the stage in an incredible underwater realm right before your eyes. This is a classic opera as you have never seen it before and is not to be missed!

For a haunting and raw performance you’ll be thinking about for weeks after, book a ticket to see one-woman show La Voix Humane. This play was originally penned by film director Jean Cocteau in 1927 and the fact that it’s still a moving piece of art in 2013 stands as a testament to its brilliance. The storyline follows a woman who calls her ex-partner – all we see is her one-sided plea as she falls apart on one end of a phone line.

Something different

Head down to Darling Harbour for an outdoor installation that will make you question everything you know about gravity and perspective. ‘Merchants Store’ has already impressed crowds in London and Paris and is adding Sydney to its list of high-profile cities this January. While it looks like an ordinary house front, you’ll quickly realise that, with people crawling out the windows and dangling from the walls, it’s nothing of the sort.

Food

To celebrate the festival, a range of Sydney’s restaurants have signed up with event organisers to ensure visitors to the city don’t go hungry during the events.

Stop by ARIA Restaurant for a bite to eat before a show in Circular Quay or Red Lantern on Riley in Darlinghurst for a long lunch.

There’s plenty more on during these exciting two weeks, so check out all the options and start planning!