The 14th Woodend Winter Arts Festival brings international and Australian artists to the Macedon Ranges and will be held over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend, 8–11 June.
An ambitious collaboration of some of Australia’s leading creatives from different disciplines will bring to life ‘La Pellegrina’ (The Pilgrim Woman), most famously performed at the lavish wedding of Ferdinand I de’ Medici, Grand-Duke of Tuscany, with Christine de Lorraine, grand-daughter of the former queen-mother of France, Catherine de’ Medici in 1589.
It will be the first time the production, considered experimental and cutting edge in its time, will be professionally performed in Australia, offering audiences a unique experience, featuring period instruments, masked singers and brightly-coloured sculptural costumes, while above them on triple screens a shadow play, created by two dancers, develops images from the libretto.
The rich talents of acclaimed writer and producer Rodney Hall, musical direction of John O’Donnell and costume design by cutting edge Australian designer Alistair Trung will bring this Renaissance pageant to life.
The Festival musical program includes international musicians from Italy and Brazil, and well-known Australian musicians, performing concerts of Bach through to Brazilian rhythms, finishing with the Festival dinner.
The elastically satirical Max Gillies will perform a repertoire which includes mad King Ferdinand VI of Spain, with Festival Director Jacqueline Ogeil on Cristofori piano, and reprisals of his interpretations of Paul Keating, Bob Hawke and John Howard. The Words and Ideas program will include Don Watson, Craig Emerson, Sally Warhaft and Emilie Zoey Baker (EZB), as well as authors from the region including Suzi Fox, Dee White and Kirsty Manning.
Four art exhibitions will present local artists and their works in a range of locations across the weekend, providing opportunities for reflection and picking up a beautiful, local reminder of your visit to the region.