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The New Zealand International Arts Festival is a biennial multi-arts festival held in the nation's capital, Wellington. It is New Zealand's premier and largest cultural event and exists to celebrate the best arts entertainment from around the world and within New Zealand. The first Festival was in 1986 and we just finished the 2008 Festival which took place from 22 February to 16 March 2008. Each Festival offers a bold artistic programme of the highest quality featuring opera, theatre, dance, music, outdoor productions, and literary and visual arts. The program is made up of companies and artists drawn from New Zealand and round the world who have been specifically selected by the Festival's Artistic Director, Lissa Twomey.

We also produce new NZ productions each Festival. The Festival's budget generally is around NZ$ 12,500,000 of which the income is approximately 40% box office, 35% corporate sponsorship, 11% from the city of Wellington, 6% from Creative New Zealand (for NZ work only) and the Major Events Fund, 2% from foreign governments and their agencies and 6% other income. For further details on the 2006 Festival please refer to our profile document below.

In alternate years to the Festival the Lexus Song Quest is managed by the New Zealand International Arts Festival with sponsorship by Lexus New Zealand. It is a proven springboard for young singers and launched international careers of previous winners Kiri Te Kanawa, Malvina Major, Teddy Tahu Rhodes and Jonathan Lemalu.

In the past the Festival has presented: Tan Dun, Wynton Marsalis & the Lincoln Center Orchestra, The National Ballet of Spain, Mark Morris Dance Group, Frankfurt Ballet, Royal Shakespeare Company, Royal Court, Young Vic, Out of Joint, Gilberto Gil, Robert Lepage's Far Side of the Moon and Seven Streams of the River Ota, Maly Drama Theatre of St Petersburg, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Steve Reich, Philip Glass, Laurie Anderson, Jan Garbarek & the Hilliard Ensemble, Kronos Quartet, E. Annie Proulx, Arundhati Roy, Richard Ford and Tariq Ali, to name but a few.

The 2006 New Zealand International Arts Festival included: Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne and Heiner Goebbels (Switzerland and Germany), Robert Lepage (Canada), Eva Yerbabuena (Spain), Pat Metheny (USA), Tan Dun (US/China), Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (UK), Aterballetto (Italy), Dr. Subramaniam (India), Orchestra Baobab (Senegal), Talvin Singh (UK), James MacMillan (UK), Paul Miller aka DJ Spooky (US), The Builders Association (US), The Hilliard Ensemble (UK), James Thiérrée (France), Kneehigh Theatre (UK), David Page (Australia), the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the New Zealand String Quartet, Inside Out Productions (NZ), plus many more international and New Zealand artists.

Click here for Technical and Venue Information.

Revisit the 2006 Festival website

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