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SOURCE Sydney Festival
SYDNEY, Jan. 28, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The 38th Sydney Festival concluded on Sunday with the traditional free Symphony in The Domain concert celebrating a special Australia Day program featuring Australia's leading Shakespearean thespian John Bell, leading expatriate conductor Simone Young, and Sydney Symphony Orchestra.
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The Festival, which ran from 9 to 26 January, included a mix of ticketed and free programming that captivated locals and visitors alike.
This year's Festival included a renewed focus on classical music and large-scale visual arts projects. Two hugely popular installations were Sacrilege, Jeremy Deller's inflatable Stonehenge, and Merchants Store, Leandro Erlich's gravity-defying interactive artwork, which together attracted more than 120,000 active participants, as well as tens of thousands of onlookers. The new Festival Village in Hyde Park attracted more than one hundred thousand visitors with a program ranging from free family workshops to late-night circus cabaret shows.
Highlights in the ticketed program included both small- and large-scale projects, from intimate musical discoveries in our Spiegeltent early music series to the unique suburban spiritual tour The Calling, the centrepiece Baroque dance opera Dido & Aeneas and the world premiere of Black Diggers, a co-production with Queensland Theatre Company re-telling the stories of Indigenous soldiers who fought in World War One, directed by Wesley Enoch.
More than 1030 artists from 17 countries performed in 144 projects. The 2014 Festival achieved 124 sold-out performances and reached an audience of well over 500,000 visitors across its free and ticketed program. The smallest venue was the one-seater 'folk-in-a-box' stage, the largest was The Domain for two free open-air concerts on the opening and closing weekends.
"Our 2014 Sydney Festival was a true celebration of our city in summer through arts and entertainment," said Festival Director Lieven Bertels. "A team of over 100 staff and 400 volunteers across 2160 shifts made this Festival one of the most enjoyable ever. Both the return to classical music and opera, and the opportunities created for Australian artists received critical acclaim and proved popular with our audiences. Over the last two Festivals, we have premiered 23 new Australian works, from fun kids' concerts to theatre and dance productions of national importance such as Black Diggers and Am I. Combining these arts offerings with easily accessible touch points, including our large-scale visual art works and our new Festival Village, underlined our position as Australia's leading summer festival."
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