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.
Sam Shepard’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play Buried Child returns 20 years after its last major New York production. Dodge (Ed Harris) and Halie (Amy Madigan) are barely hanging on to their farmland and their sanity while looking after their two wayward grown sons (Rich Sommer and Paul Sparks). When their grandson Vince (Nat Wolff) arrives with his girlfriend (Taissa Farmiga), no one seems to recognize him, and confusion abounds. As Vince tries to make sense of the chaos, the rest of the family dances around a deep, dark secret. This wildly poetic and cuttingly funny take on the American family drama gleefully pulls apart the threadbare deluded visions of our families and our homes.
With Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 and Brahms’ Symphony No. 2, Philippe Herreweghe is highlighting the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra’s most important function since first founding, namely to perform the best works from the Classical and Romantic periods.
Herreweghe joins forces here with star pianist Yefim Bronfman, the Russian-Israeli-American master who is known as a heavyweight, excelling in tumultuous works. Remarkably enough, Bronfman now turns to the subtlest and most tender of piano concertos that Beethoven composed.
How did a poor little black girl from Missouri become the Queen of Paris, before joining the French Resistance and finally creating her dream family “The Rainbow Tribe”, adopting twelve children from four corners of the world? This is the fabulous story of the first black superstar, Josephine Baker.
Rare and unprecedented archives will resolve the puzzle of Josephine’s fascinating fifty-year-long “headline-grabbing career”. Josephine Baker made three trips “back home” in 1936, 1948 and 1951. Each time she experienced everyday racism, despite her worldwide fame. Each tragic experience triggered her life-changing decisions. Gradually the battle for Civil Rights became her own, up until 1963, when she was the only woman who spoke on stage besides Martin Luther King during the famous March in Washington. From then on, she uses her fame to serve her political utopia until the end of her life. This is the journey of a superstar’s awakening from the "banana dancer" to a humanist fighter. But can fame change the world?
Rose Hartman does not let much get in the way of whatever fashion show or opening she wants to shoot.
She has been called many names, but "irascible" best defines the woman whose sharp eye and sharper elbows have been penetrating the New York City social scene for decades.
In the 70s, she lay in wait at Studio 54 for stars like Mick and Bianca Jagger and Andy Warhol. Later she pioneered the backstage workings of 7th Avenue, making quick fans of Donna Karan and Carolina Herrera. Rose Hartman’s iconic images, particularly from the Studio 54 era and from her pioneering work behind the scenes of the fashion business, continue to fascinate because they ride that thrilling line between public and private.
Although Hartman rejects the idea that she was or is some kind of paparazzi, insisting she was always and remains today an invited guest, her most famous work is all about moments we’re not necessarily supposed to see.
Directed by Otis Mass, The Incomparable Rose Hartman asks: does Rose simply work a room, or is she also working to belong?
A recording of a very special one-night-only event, Australian theatre and music sensation Kate Miller-Heidke joins the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, performing songs from her award-winning opera The Rabbits and popular hits featured on her new album ‘The Best of Kate Miller-Heidke: Act One’.
Kate Miller-Heidke is a classically trained singer who traverses the worlds of contemporary pop, folk and opera. This is her first collaboration with the MSO. When the singer-songwriter combines her own material with a symphonic sound, you’re in for a special thrill! Featuring extraordinary visuals by Australian artist and filmmaker Amy Gebhardt, guitar accompaniment by Keir Nuttall and conducted by MSO’s Associate Conductor Benjamin Northey.
The critically acclaimed concert series provides an intimate music experience with ground-breaking and inspiring artists. The 12th season features John Legend at Manhattan's historic Riverside Church, One Republic at Park City (Utah), Lady Antebellum at the historic United Palace in Washington Heights and Fleet Foxes at the Knockdown Center in Queens (New York).
Most people feel they know all there is to know about the life and work of the iconic Australian artist, Sir Sidney Nolan. This film - told through the artist's own words - will challenge the existing narrative around the man who gave us the Ned Kelly series, among thousands of others.
Delving into previously unknown and unseen elements of his work, inspiration and private life, with a particular focus on his artistic life in the UK (where he lived for half of his life), the film provides a thorough and compelling exploration of how and why an outsider - an artist who, through his work, became synonymous with Australia and its myths and legends - became the ultimate establishment figure, through the use of never-before-seen archive and interviews with family and friends, some of whom have never spoken on camera before.
Presenter Eddie Ayres speaks to Amelda Langslow, Nolan’s daughter, who appears in the documentary, along with producer Julia Peters.
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.
Conducted by Sir Andrew Davis with Australia’s violin master Richard Tognetti, this concert features Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending, which was placed No. 1 in the ABC’s Swoon Classic 100 countdown in 2015. The work itself remains a glorious evocation of English pastoral life - the solo violin being the evocation of George Meredith’s soaring verse. Benjamin Britten’s Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes convey all the scrunchy saltiness of the coast of his beloved East Anglia. The program also includes the Partita for Violin and Orchestra by Witold Lutoslawski, and Sergei Rachmaninoff’s vibrant Symphonic Dances.
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.
Making Muriel follows acclaimed director PJ Hogan as he collaborates with Australia’s most innovative stage producers, to turn the much-loved, iconic feature film Muriel’s Wedding into a world-first stage musical.
Twenty years on since Toni Collette’s brilliantly awkward portrayal of ‘Muriel’ burst onto the big screen, its raw yet heartfelt portrayal of social outcasts and their complex relationships is fondly cemented in the hearts of audiences around the world.
So how do you recreate it for the stage and a new generation? Hogan’s journey, interweaving the origin story of the film with the musical production, and exploring the universal themes that remain relevant today, is warmly portrayed.
Features interviews with the original film’s stars Toni Collette and Rachel Griffiths, stage-show cast including Gary Sweet and Justine Clarke, and interviews at home with PJ Hogan and the film’s producer Jocelyn Moorhouse.
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.
Jim (Bryce Pinkham) leaves the bright lights of show business behind to settle down on his farmhouse in Connecticut... but life just isn’t the same without a bit of song and dance (Tony-nominated choreography by Denis Jones). Jim’s luck takes a spectacular turn when he meets Linda (Lora Lee Gayer), a spirited schoolteacher with talent to spare. Together they turn the farmhouse into a fabulous inn with dazzling performances to celebrate each holiday, from Thanksgiving to the Fourth of July. But when Jim’s best friend Ted (Corbin Bleu) tries to lure Linda away to be his new dance partner in Hollywood, will Jim be able to salvage his latest chance at love?
Rossi’s Orpheus is one of several operatic versions of this enduring classic myth. At the centre is Orpheus, who uses his musical gifts to try to win his beloved Eurydice back from Hades. Torment, jealousy and the intervention of the gods are also part of this engrossing drama in which the spurned lover Aristaeus turns to madness, while the devoted lover Orpheus earns a place among the stars.
MUSICIAL DIRECTION: Raphael Pichon.
STAGE DIRECTION: Jetske Mijnssen.
Multi-award-winning British dance choreographer Wayne McGregor staged Dyad 1929 with The Australian Ballet as part of a diptych to celebrate the centenary of Serge Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes. Featuring an electrifying score by Pulitzer Prize-winning Steve Reich, Dyad 1929 tests the limits of classical movement in a laboratory-white set. McGregor, one of the most exciting choreographers of our time, delivers a captivating and powerful work.
James Corden, the multi-award winning frontman of The Late Late Show, returns to host the 73rd Annual Tony Awards from Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The gig marks Corden’s second time hosting, having previously presented the 70th Annual Tony Awards. Corden himself won a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play for his star turn in One Man, Two Guvnors in 2012.
Nominees for this year’s awards have been announced, favourites to take home silverware include Bryan Cranston for his portrayal of Howard Beale in Network, Jeff Daniels’ Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird, John Lithgow and Laurie Metcalf for Hillary and Clinton, and Annette Bening for All My Sons. Tune in for the biggest night on Broadway — alongside Corden’s comedic talent and personal passion for the stage, a truly entertaining evening is guaranteed.
PROGRAM: Leonard Bernstein: Candide – Overture; Jules Massenet: "Suis je gentille ainsi? Allons, il le faut..." from the opera "Manon"; Jules Massenet: Thais: Meditation; Erik Satie: Gymnopedies 1 and 3 (orchestrated by Debussy); Charles Gounod: "Un bouquet..Ah, je ris de..." from the opera "Faust"; Antonin Dvorak: Symphony No 9 E minor, op 95 – "From the New World".
CONDUCTOR: Cristian Macelaru.
ORCHESTRA: Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks.
PERFORMERS: Diana Damrau, Radoslaw Szulc.
An almost deserted museum, a guard wearing high heels, a cinephile thief and a Monet painting.
In September 2000, Robert Z. was given permission by the National Museum in Poznan, Poland, to make a replica of Claude Monet's painting ‘Beach in Pourville’. He was allowed to work in the quiet museum, which had no operational security cameras and was almost deserted on weekdays. Only one female guard was around, who every now and then alerted Robert inadvertently by the click-clack sound of her shoes. When he finished what he came for, he returned home. Only days later did the truth finally dawn on the museum staff. In this revealing story, Robert himself confesses about the events and consequences of that fateful day in the museum.
Three unique ballet performances created by contemporary dance choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and filmed at Opera National de Paris in 2015.
De Keersmaeker's work on Bartok’s Quartet No.4 displays her initial style: a combination of short motifs, danced with dry humour by a quartet of adolescent girls.
Die Grosse Fuge.
De Keersmaeker addresses music using all the nuances of passion: need, defiance, oneupmanship… The key notion is polyphony. The irresistible energy that sets free these fluid, nervous bodies – at times openly insolent, at others exhausted as if conquered by the musics – is essentially that of "dizzying counterpoint". Additional voices continually emerge; new connections or unexpected combinations multiplying the curves of a spiral of movements in which the audience joyfully loses all sense of direction. The virtuoso choreography, which is highly masculine and based on a falling motif, allows us to appreciate the development of the choreographer’s compositional technique.
Verklarte Nacht (Transfigured Night), dedicated to the young Schonberg, reveals Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker most intimate side: the evening ends in heartrending abandon, with the almost narrative evocation of a couple transfigured by the gift of love, portrayed in dance suffused with a passion for music.
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.
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