Tune in to the best arts and cultural television from New Zealand and around the world.
Fascinating documentaries on artists, writers, dancers, musicians and more
Intelligent interviews with the stars of stage and screen
In-depth shows on modern and classical art, architecture and design
A wide range of concerts from classical to rock, pop, jazz, soul and the blues
Stimulating programmes examining popular fiction, classic novels and poetry
Inspiring performances of contemporary dance, ballet, opera and theatre
SKY ARTS is proud to support New Zealand Arts, so look out for more home grown arts programmes made by local artists and filmmakers.
The latest series covers more miles than ever before in the search for a winning artist. From the wilds of the Scottish Highlands to a classic Kentish seaside scene, the competition moves to some of the UK’s best-loved scenic spots.
Each heat sees eight professional and amateur artists complete a landscape work in only four hours to impress the judges. The grand prize is a life changing experience for any artist - a £10,000 commission to create an artwork to commemorate the First World War that will enter the prestigious collection of the Imperial War Museum.
Master artist Graeme Stevenson travels around Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom and the United States on his Harley Davidson filming artists in their studios and showing their techniques. The series is educational, entertaining, humorous and enables viewers to learn from some of the best artists in the world.
I AM tells the stories of people who put their reason for being in art. The story of the creative process takes the traits of social and identity affirmation, following the motivations and urgency that lead the artist to express themselves.
I AM tells about fragments of life, sacrifices, disappointments, emotions, conflicts and resolutions, focusing the narration on the works and character of the protagonist, on his story and on the context in which he moves. I AM is the story of an artist.
THIS IS ART is a journey into ourselves, into our feelings and our concerns. The emotions that characterize us as human beings. Art has the power to bring out all kinds of feelings and sensations. Thanks to it, we can figure out who we really are. The main aim of THIS IS ART is to move us, to shake things up, but it is also a show for learning, intended for all audiences. Because we are all capable of desiring, loving, hating, laughing and crying. Through the beauty of artistic forms, we go inside the inner workings of human nature. All artists use art to explain their emotions and we use emotions to explain different aspects of the history of art.
Over the course of this series and through its entertaining and rhythmic storytelling, we touch on themes as universal as desire, ecstasy, love, inspiration, solitude, madness, faith, fear, sadness, jealousy, hope and vanity. In each episode, we talk about these themes as we speak of painting, sculpture, music, architecture and literature, with visuals that are daring, fascinating and highly attractive, in the spirit of the very essence of the program. Having Ramon Gener on board is no coincidence. He has proven his talent as a communicator on shows like "Opera en Texans" and "This Is Opera". His uncanny ability to convey the passion, knowledge and magic of all these concepts is what takes the viewer by the hand on this wonderful voyage through the human condition.
The title of this unique work relates to choreographer Graeme Murphy’s notion that audiences, when confronted with the abstract, will map their own narrative on to what they see. The score (Brett Dean’s Fire Music) was written as a response to the Black Saturday bushfires that raged across Australia’s East Coast in 2009. The costumes by Jennifer Irwin, Murphy’s long-time collaborator, are sewn with tiny mirrors that reflect the searing golden rays of Damien Cooper’s lighting design.
The Australian Ballet presents La Sylphide, in a production by Erik Bruhn after August Bournonville’s 19th century original. A ballet in two acts, La Sylphide tells the tale of the Scottish dreamer James, who is fascinated by a woodland sprite and spurns his fiancée to follow her. Intent on capturing the ethereal beauty for his own, he accepts the help of the vengeful witch Madge, who leads him to his downfall. La Sylphide celebrates the sheer beauty of pure ballet.
An ancient story with a modern parallel, Berlioz’s L’Enfance du Christ tells the story of the Holy Family fleeing their homeland and relying on the kindness of strangers as they journey across the desert to safety. Tender, intimate and intensely evocative, this oratorio is a stark musical contrast to the wild pagan dervishes, choruses of the damned and huge orchestral forces more commonly associated with Hector Berlioz.
In almost cinematic style, Berlioz paints the human elements of the story in a series of visual tableaux: an uneasy night in Rome, the world-weariness of Herod, the blind fanaticism of the soothsayers, the joys and griefs of Jesus’ parents, the shepherds’ kindness and the bustling welcome of the Ishmaelite household.
Prepare to be moved to tears, Berlioz would be proud! Why it’s a must-see: “This piece is very unusual for Berlioz as most of it is quite intimate. This work has wonderful writing for the chorus, it’s very varied and the narrator (sung by Andrew Staples) is so colourful. The final chorus is to die for!” (Sir Andrew Davis).
CONDUCTOR: Sir Andrew Davis.
ORCHESTRA: Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, MSO Chorus.
PERFORMERS: Sasha Cooke, Andrew Staples, Roderick Williams, Andrew Goodwin, Shane Lowrencev, Matthew Brook.
After one of the last guest performances by piano philosopher Piotr Anderszewski with the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, one impressed critic wrote: “Even the most discerning of Mozart connoisseurs were stunned.” Anderszewski can now be seen performing Mozart’s dramatic Piano Concerto in c minor at the Elbphilharmonie.
The second half of the concert features Gustav Mahler’s Fifth Symphony, about which Mahler himself once said: “The Fifth is a cursed work. No one understands it.”
PROGRAMME: Mozart: Piano Concert No. 24, KV 491; Mahler: Symphony No. 5.
A dynamic and vibrant city on the Mediterranean, Tel Aviv is also a unique social and artistic experiment. But what does it mean to be an artist in this city? In this beautiful documentary, Tel Aviv is presented through leading Israeli artists in various fields. They reveal the influence Tel Aviv has had on their creations, and attempt to decipher the extraordinary creative energy of the city and its international recognition.
Interweaving wonderful archival footage, with personal testimonies of prominent artists such as Etgar Keret, Menashe Kadishmann and Idan Reichel, Tel Aviv Live offers a panorama of contemporary Israeli life.
A fascinating look at the life and work of some of Hollywood's most iconic filmmakers. Each episode brought to life by Derek Malcolm, Neil Norman, Stephen Armstrong, Bonnie Greer OBE and Ian Nathan along with classic moments from each film career.
This series travels to the great opera houses of the world, from Milan and Venice, to London and New York, to pay tribute to the greatest opera singers of our time. Hosted and narrated by operatic soprano, Danielle de Niese.
Featuring classic moments in the careers of twelve legends of opera, from Luciano Pavarotti to Enrico Caruso, Joan Sutherland to Kiri Te Kanawa and Jessye Norman to Mario Lanza. Filmed in the United Kingdom and Italy, each episode features historical archival footage, performance highlights and contributions from artists, critics and directors.
Hungarian folk tunes run through the veins of Ivan Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra, while Gypsy rhythms set their pulses dancing. This concert – a true celebration of Hungary’s national music – traces the development of folk songs and dance, from their colourful, rough-hewn originals into virtuosic concert-hall reimaginings by Liszt, Brahms and Sarasate. In the second half comes Brahms’s dramatic First Symphony, whose darkness and drama eventually give way to an ending of transcendent musical triumph.
PROGRAMME: Liszt: Hungarian Rhapsody No. 1 & 3; Brahms: Hungarian Dance No. 1 & 11, Symphony No 1; Sarasate: Zigeunerweisen.
Housing one of the world’s greatest collections of art and antiquities, the Israel Museum poses for its own complex portrait in this elegant observational documentary, revealing its central role in the complicated narrative of the nation.
Sitting high on the brow of a Jerusalem hill directly opposite the Knesset, the sprawling institution—now more than half a century old—contains nearly half a million objects, from the Dead Sea Scrolls to Crusader armour to masterpieces by Rembrandt and Marc Chagall. A less ambitious film would provide a hit parade of the museum’s contents. Instead, The Museum is wisely constructed as a set of loose encounters with its human inhabitants.
We eavesdrop on the curators, museum guards, archaeological conservators, visiting schoolchildren, and even the resident rabbi, who together form a kaleidoscopic picture of the way art, history and national destiny intersect in the galleries. Director Ran Tal (Children of the Sun), while showcasing the deep artistic and educational values that underlie the museum’s work, also gently exposes its ideological fault lines: we watch an Army docent use the museum’s archaeology to indoctrinate her trainees, while Arab and Jewish curators wrestle with the moral implications of displaying Palestinian artefacts. Through it all, the Israel Museum emerges as a shining example of a nation’s highest aspirations for itself.
The notion of passion, in music, initially referred to accounts of the suffering and death of Jesus. But would any form of art be conceivable without ardent passion and that kind of suffering which mobilizes creative forces as starting point for new artistic endeavours? Andris Nelsons presents a concert night that concentrates every conceivable passion: Bernd Alois Zimmermann’s Trumpet Concerto, entitled “Nobody Knows The Trouble I See” – a protest against racism – and Mahler’s Second, ‘Resurrection’ Symphony.
If the 20th century was the century of self, artist Ryan Gander believes the 21st century is the century of the selfie. In this smart, surprising film, he takes a timely look at who we are, who we want to be, how we use new and emerging media techniques and technologies to achieve it, and how that process impacts and inspires contemporary culture, society and art. From the hallowed halls of great art galleries and the national galleries of London, to the Cryonics labs and Social Media hubs of California, Ryan tests the limits of what ‘self’ means.
Oklahoma to California: 2600 kms, 420 dollars, 30 days, 5 bikes, 2 guitars and one of the most influential novels of the 20th century - The Bikes of Wrath is the story of adventure, human connection, and an in-depth look at inequality and disenfranchisement in today's America through the lens of John Steinbeck's seminal novel, 'The Grapes of Wrath'.
Through chance encounters with everyday Americans, these five friends explore the novel's core themes - migration, inequality and the perceived land of opportunity - and how the nation has progressed decades after it's first publication.
Through countless acts of generosity from small-town individuals and communities, to desolating encounters with 'unwanted' Americans, the cyclists experience first-hand the startling parallels of the novel in a country still grappling with the same issues today, and ultimately, it's own sense of identity.
Shot by more than 40 filmmaking teams around the world, the film immerses the viewer in the daily use of faith and spiritual practice. At a time when religious hatreds dominate the world’s headlines, this film explores faith as primary human experience, and how people turn to ritual and prayer to navigate the milestones and crises of private life.
The film’s director commissioned or sourced footage from top independent filmmakers from more than 25 countries -- and a wide range of religious traditions -- each team contributing a single scene. The film, sweeping in its global reach, yet intensely intimate, is a tour de force that unifies these scenes into a single work, told without narration, without experts and, for long stretches, without words at all.
Hawaii joined the United States in 1959 and became its 50th state. Hollywood was quick to discover the fabulous location and the native art of the Pacific which turned into a synthetic exotic world to reflect the optimism of the times. Thor Heyerdahl´s book “Kon-Tiki” became a world best-seller, Tiki bars sprang up everywhere, the Mai Tai was the drink of the moment and interiors were decorated with rattan. The nudity of Hula girls was acceptable as they were considered natives and part of folklore.
The craze started with SOUTH PACIFIC and Elvis Presley’s movies shot in Hawaii. Marlon Brando was so taken with the local charm that he bought an island in Polynesia and married the Tahitian actress of his MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY while Presley created a “jungle room” Tiki style at Graceland. Tiki had its moment between McCarthyism and the hippy culture. Around 1966 the Jimmy Hendrix generation superseded the Dean Martin generation. Katmandou replaced Hawaii and marihuana the exotic drinks.
Filmmaker Sebastien Zulian got Sven Kristen, cameraman and author of many books on Tiki as well as Craig Detweiler, film teacher at Peperdine University, to explain the phenomenon and rounds off his documentary with clips from THE HURRICANE, MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY, SONG OF THE ISLAND, SOUTH PACIFIC, HIS MAJESTY O’KEEFE, BIKINI BEACH, PARADISE, HAWAIIAN STYLE, BLUE HAWAII and LT. ROBINSON CRUSOE.
A concert with a Nordic flavour from Paavo Jarvi and the Estonian Festival Orchestra (making its Proms debut) pairs music by Grieg and Sibelius with Estonia’s own national composer, Arvo Part. Celebrated Georgian pianist Khatia Buniatishvili performs one of the great Romantic piano concertos. Beloved for its generous melodies and dramatic gestures, Grieg’s concerto is matched for sonic drama by Sibelius’s stirring Fifth Symphony. Arvo Part’s eclectic Third Symphony, with its echoes of Renaissance polyphony and Orthodox chant, opens the concert.
PROGRAMME: Part: Symphony No 3; Grieg: Piano Concerto; Jean Sibelius: Symphony No 5.
Bobby Keys has lived the kind of life that qualifies as a rock 'n' roll folktale. In his early teens, Keys bribed his way into Buddy Holly’s garage band rehearsals. He took up the saxophone because it was the only instrument left unclaimed in the school band, and he convinced his grandfather to sign his guardianship over to Crickets drummer J.I. Allison so that he could go on tour as a teenager.
Keys spent years on the road during the early days of rock ‘n’ roll with hitmakers like Bobby Vee, followed by decades as top touring and session sax man for the likes of Mad Dogs and Englishmen, George Harrison, John Lennon, and onto, most famously, his gig with The Rolling Stones from 1970 onward. Every Night's a Saturday Night finds Keys setting down the many tales of an over-the-top rock ‘n’ roll life in his own inimitable voice.
Featuring interviews with Keith Richards, Mick Taylor, Charlie Watts, Ronnie Wood, Ian McLagan, Billy Gibbons, Dr. John, Jim Keltner, among many others.
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