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Fascinating documentaries on artists, writers, dancers, musicians and more
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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.
An intimate and mesmerising series showcasing the craft and unique skills of contemporary Oceanic artists who today channel the artistic traditions of their ancestors into new and ever more extraordinary works.
Filmed with a considered, blue-chip approach, each hour follows a different artist as they create an intricate new artwork from start to finish. During this time, we learn about the artist’s story and their inspiration. We also come to understand the materials they use and what their work means to the local community.
Traditional Oceanic crafts featured are line and dot painting from Australia; Whakairo, the Maori art of carving from New Zealand; Kapa, the sacred ceremonial fabric made by native Hawaiians; and tattoos from Tahiti. The body art is said to have originated here as long ago as 1500BC, but travelled back to Europe with Captain Cook.
She Loves Me follows Amalia and Georg, two parfumerie clerks who are not quite the best of friends. Constantly bumping heads while on the job, the sparring co-workers cannot seem to find common ground. Little do they know the anonymous pen pals they have both been falling for happen to be each other! Will love continue to blossom once their identities are finally revealed?
This award-winning revival features Tony-nominated performances from Laura Benanti, Zachary Levi, and Jane Krakowski.
Lost In Vagueness is the incomparable story of the legendary backstage after-hour area ‘Lost Vagueness’ at the Glastonbury Festival, the largest music and culture festival in the world. Each year, Glastonbury attracts nearly 200,000 people and has 19 million viewers on the BBC. Lost in Vagueness explores the rise and fall of the festival’s unusual after-hours cabaret, the dark side of creativity and a personal trauma behind it.
As an anarchic, punk traveller, Roy Gurvitz, founder of ‘Lost Vagueness’, scoured Europe searching for a community where he could escape his oppressive upbringing. Eventually, he returned to Glastonbury, to work with the regular site crew, where he had become friends with Michael Eavis in the early 1990s.
Back then, he had no idea that the ironic faux casino that he had begun as a joke for the other site crew, would turn into the very event that would revive the festival from bankruptcy, and set the dominant cultural style of the 2000s. It was a place of opulence and decadence, and reminiscent of a permissive 1920s Berlin, but all in a muddy field. Today the legacy of ‘Lost Vagueness’ can be seen not only in UK, but across the global festival culture.
Featuring lives acts and interviews from Fatboy Slim, Suggs (Madness) and Kate Tempest and with a soundtrack featuring over 50 artists including Beck, C.W. Stoneking, Louis Jordan and many more.
If there exists an opera that defies boundaries at every level, be they dramatic or dramaturgical, it is certainly Verdi’s Don Carlos. Politics, religion, history and psychoanalysis are all entwined here, increasingly exacerbating the fears and taboos between the protagonists.
Krzysztof Warlikowski strips down a tragedy haunted by ghosts, and places the intimate at the heart of an imaginary fresco truer than history itself. Along with Philippe Jordan, he reveals to the public the very first version of this great five-act opera: the version modified by Verdi himself for the work’s first performance in 1867.
Glasgow, the mid-1990s: flourishing indie rock band The Delgados established cult record label Chemikal Underground, heralding a renaissance of independent music in the city that would bring the likes of Mogwai, Arab Strap and Franz Ferdinand to the world.
Lost in France, an exhilarating new documentary, explores the rise of this Glaswegian music scene, revisiting a defining, chaotic trip to France in the musicians’ early careers.
Featuring a stunning mix of live performances and frequently hilarious interviews, the film reunites key label personnel in an intimate exploration of friendship, memory and the making of music.
An exploration of the world of movie poster art, past and present, the artists who create it and the fans who collect it.
In the mid-2000s, filling the void left behind by Hollywood’s abandonment of illustrated movie posters, independent artists and galleries began selling limited edition, screen-printed posters – a movement that has quickly exploded into a booming industry with prints selling out online in seconds, inspiring Hollywood studios to take notice of illustration in movie posters once more.
24x36: A Movie About Movie Posters explores the birth, death and resurrection of the illustrated movie poster. Through interviews with a number of key art personalities from the past four decades, this documentary aims to answer the question – what happened to the illustrated movie poster? Where did it disappear to, and why?
Interviewees include William Stout, Jason Edmiston, Gary Pullin, Laurent Durieux and the iconic Roger Kastel, the man responsible for the “Jaws” poster that has since become a staple of movie iconography.
A sparkling personality on the contemporary dance scene, Swedish choreographer Alexander Ekman has been invited for the first time to work with the dancers of the Paris Opera Ballet. Trained at the Swedish Royal Ballet, he danced with the Nederlands Dans Theater and the Ballet Cullberg before turning to choreography.
His language, both visceral and tinged with humour, combines theatricality and classical and contemporary vocabulary alike. Best known for the spectacular quality of his pieces with their dreamlike imagery, he fills the stage of the Palais Garnier with metallic structures, dancers suspended in space, elevations.
A surprising production carried along by enticing rhythms and communicative energy.
Piotr Anderszewski is not only one of the best pianists of our time; he is also a great doubter, a perfectionist, who has to cope with the fact that as a musician he does not always find the perfect instrument at the venue. All around the concert in the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, in which Piotr Anderszewski plays Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 24 in C minor together with the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester and Thomas Hengelbrock, we experience him in the intensive confrontation with his instrument, the piano. “It is a complicated relationship. Sometimes I think it would be better if the instrument didn’t exist at all,” says Piotr Anderszewski. “I would prefer to transmit music telepathically – without physical sounds.”
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.
Jerome Robbins considered the Paris Opera Ballet as his second home after the New York City Ballet. This production in his honour brings together works displaying the infinite diversity of his sources of inspiration and his genius on stage.
Be it in the energy of the large-scale Glass Pieces or the intimate sweetness of Afternoon of a Faun and A Suite of Dances, there emerges that rare capacity to make bodies follow the flow in a living comprehension of music. As the celebrated ballet Fancy Free, a veritable theatrical portrait of an era, enters the repertoire, Robbins reveals another facet of his talent.
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).
After releasing their latest album SUPER, the most successful pop duo in UK music history began their Super tour two years ago at the renowned Royal Opera House in London with the acclaimed show, Inner Sanctum. Having since taken the show around the world, Pet Shop Boys returned to the Royal Opera House this summer for four last performances, captured on film by director David Barnard (Bjork, Nick Cave).
Created with Es Devlin (design) and Lynne Page (direction/choreography), Inner Sanctum is a laser-drenched ride through Pet Shop Boys electric past and present, mixing greatest hits and club sounds, against the backdrop of one of the grandest European opera houses. It shows Pet Shop Boys at their ground-breaking best.
A deeply personal and psychological portrait of internationally known, and Austin based, collage artist Lance Letscher.
Told through memories of trauma and triumph, the film provides a doorway into Letscher’s profound insights on creativity, the subconscious, work ethic and spirituality. Through his intricate artistic process, viewers witness the artist’s unwavering determination to stay in the moment - free of mind, thought and preconception.
Featuring detailed images of more than a hundred of his collages, sculptures and installations, viewers are offered a visual feast while gaining intimate access into Letscher’s methodical techniques and brilliant mind.
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.
This mesmerizing series provides an intimate look at the creation of three traditional artefacts that are deeply embedded in Mexico's rich culture. The episodes are full of colour and incredible detail, with beautiful footage and gentle pacing providing a remarkable insight into the way of life of talented craftsman and women.
The uniquely Mexican artworks featured in the series are the Huipil, a vibrantly embroidered garment worn by women in Istmo de Tehuantepec and famously worn by Frid Kahlo; the huge Tree of Life clay sculptures, strongly associated with the Metepec state and used during colonial times to teach the bible to natives and Alebrijes, exquisite, brightly coloured wooden sculptures of fantastical creatures.
Each episode focuses on one craft and we get to follow a piece of art from concept to completion, witnessing the pride that the artisans take in their intricate work. Handmade in Mexico succeeds in being a gorgeous and revelatory series that explores aspects of life in Mexico rarely seen before on TV.
Conductor laureate Bernard Haitink conducts Bruckner and Mozart. For the first time in almost 35 years, he will be leading the Concertgebouw Orchestra in Bruckner’s Sixth Symphony. The composer himself considered this die keckste (the boldest) of all his symphonies. More than his other ones this symphony emphasises the rhythm and dynamics instead of the monumental construction.
At the premiere conducted by Gustav Mahler, three years after Bruckner’s death, the Sixth left its audience in a state of confusion, and is still not performed often today. This must be some kind of mistake as it is a brilliant symphony full of insights into the human existence – earning it the nickname The Philosopher – and offers much to enjoy.
Pianist Mitsuko Uchida, back since seven years, performs Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23. In this work, the woodwinds play a significant role and Mozart allows several melodies from the operas he was working on in the same time period to seep in.
PROGRAM: Bruckner: Symphony No 6; Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 23.
A specially arranged recital for the cameras from St John’s in London, featuring Montserrat Caballe, accompanied by Manuel Burgueras on piano, singing her favourite songs and arias. Works by Bellini, Mascagni, Leoncavallo, Donizetti and Massenet.
Captain Cook’s voyages to the Pacific 250 years ago set Oceanic and Western culture on a dramatic collision course, changing the map and the fate of the world forever. This intriguing series uses art to tell the fascinating, brutal and largely untold story of what happened next. Fresh and thought provoking, it explores difficult issues around identity, appropriation and exploitation, and critically examines the powerful tribal art Cook encountered - and the European art it inspired.
Viewing Oceanic art through this lens of ‘cultural exchange’ provides a unique new take, one that crosses 250 years and brings us right up to date. We’ll see contemporary artists at work, visit stunning locations and hear challenging ideas from all manner of original and controversial voices – all combining to shed new light on the incredible art and unfamiliar art history of this region.
Soldier and poet Cyrano de Bergerac (Kevin Kline) is in love with Roxane (Jennifer Garner), but he’s too ashamed to admit it because of his big nose. When a cadet, Christian (Daniel Sunjata), falls for Roxane, he asks for Cyrano’s help in sharing his feelings. Cyrano writes love letters signed with Christian’s name, and Roxane doesn’t realize that it’s Cyrano’s words she falls for. She marries Christian, and Cyrano continues to keep the other man’s secret, even after tragedy strikes.
A complex and passionate portrait of a woman who can only be described as a myth. A documentary feature film about one of the most important voices in history. This film makes us re-live, through an intimate story told in first person by the artist, the most important musical, personal and emotional moments of such a long and passionate life. It accompanies Montserrat Caballe on a trip through the most significant cities, historical performances and audio recordings of her life, including testimonies of those who, through a professional or personal relationship, can help us understand Montserrat, the person and Caballe, the diva.
Salzburg Festival 2018: Barenboim Conducts Tchaikovsky & Debussy
Wednesday 15 May 7.45pm Channel 020
Special experiences await you at this concert: “It was like a bath of ice, cocaine, and rainbows,” remarked the American writer Henry Miller of the effect made on him by Alexander Scriabin’s orgiastic orchestral fantasy Le Poeme de l’extase. No wonder, when it comes to a composer regarded as a visionary who touched on the very limits of madness. Scriabin even saw himself as a kind of Prometheus and declared: “The world lives in my consciousness, as my act of creation.” Claude Debussy also experienced a mystical moment when he conceived his impressionist tone poem La Mer.
With this music, he wished not to create a musical depiction of the roaring waves and sparkling water but rather to reflect the impression that the play of the waves awakened within him. Impressive in any case is how Lisa Batiashvili performs the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto. According to the Guardian, she is a gifted storyteller, while the Wiener Standard praised her bright violin sound, comparing it to “a ray of light”.
PROGRAM: Tchaikovsky: Polonaise from Eugene Onegin; Violin Concerto in D major op. 35; Debussy: La Mer; Skrjabin: Le Poeme de l’extase op. 54.
CONDUCTOR: Daniel Barenboim.
ORCHESTRA: West-Eastern Divan Orchestra.
Stars by starlight in the traditional Midsummer Night’s Gala! Two of the great voices and one of the best cello virtuosos of our time promise a musical firework at the Wolkenturm: the South African soprano Pretty Yende and the Maltese tenor Joseph Calleja, both celebrated across the world of opera, and the Dutch cellist Harriet Krijgh, with her irrepressible delight in making music. These are the famous guests with whom the Tonkunstler and their Music Director Yutaka Sado greet the summer solstice in Grafenegg with a musical festival for all the senses.
CONDUCTOR: Yutaka Sado.
ORCHESTRA: Tonkunstler Orchestra.
PERFORMERS: Pretty Yende, Joseph Calleja, Harriet Krijgh.
Julien Temple directs this musical film based on the Madness singer's quest to find meaning to his life after his 50th birthday leaves him wondering who he really is.
A hilarious yet moving look-back at his life in music and words, told through drama, archive and animation, Suggs is taken back through his life to a childhood on the streets of Soho.
Featuring music written by The Kinks, Prince Buster, Ian Drury and, of course, Suggs' beloved Madness.
Must one salute a hat at the top of a mast, even if it’s an order given by the local lord? Guillaume Tell refuses to do so and he is sentenced to fire an arrow into an apple placed on the head of his own son. But Tell has a secret weapon: he slips a second arrow into his quiver. For whom was it intended?
ORCHESTRA: Opera Royal de Wallonie.
MUSICAL DIRECTION: Claudio Scimone.
STAGE DIRECTION: Stefano Mazzonis di Pralafera.
Konrad “Conny” Plank is undoubtedly one of the most innovative sound designers of his time. The recordings realised in his sound studio near Cologne between the 60s and 80s, revolutionized the music world. He was the pioneer of “Krautrock” and paved the way for the revolutions of electronic and pop music respectively. Bands and artists who were fathered by the sound wizard all agree that their careers would have been different without the talents of Conny Plank.
Featuring music and interviews of Kraftwerk, Neu!, Can, Whodini, Brian Eno, DAF, Gianna Nannini, Ultravox and the Eurythmics.
A feature length documentary that tells the story of Madness saxophonist, songwriter/lyricist and founder, Lee Thompson. This hilarious film follows Lee's journey from meeting Mike Barson and Chrissy Boy Foreman over a shared love of graffiti, train hopping and music and later Suggs, Chas, Woody and Bedders as they began to make music together as part of one of the UK's most iconic bands, Madness. The film follows the path of Lee's life through his lyrics in such Madness classics as The Prince, Embarrassment, House Of Fun, Lovestruck and NW5.
Giles Coren hates Jane Austen. And while it may well be a truth universally acknowledged that Jane Austen is one of the great English writers; Giles can’t stomach her. But can some of our great novelists (Joanna Trollope and Tracey Chevallier amongst them) academics and assorted super-fans convince him that he’s wrong? Can Giles put his Pride aside? Can he overcome his Prejudice? Can he learn to love Jane Austen?
Every performance of Handel’s Messiah is a special event, and Auckland Choral’s 2018 performance was extra special. It is the choir's one-hundredth consecutive year of Messiah performances. Since the choir’s founding in 1855 there have only been two exceptions – the outbreak of World War I and the flu epidemic of 1918.
To celebrate this momentous century of Messiahs, visiting singers from choral groups join the choir. A stunning line-up of soloists lead the choir including New Zealand’s most famous tenor Simon O’Neill, Mezzo-soprano Deborah Humble, soprano Marlena Devoe, and bass Martin Snell.
He is a violinist of the century who is a stranger to entertainment. He is an exception in an industry that is aimed currently at market value, marketing and mass appeal: Gidon Kremer is one of the most exciting artist personalities of our time. Finding Your Own Voice is a calm and thoughtful portrait of the great violinist and intellectual.
Over the course of one year, Paul Smaczny accompanied Gidon Kremer with the camera, observing him with his Kremerata Baltica Chamber Orchestra in Paris and his native Riga, and as a soloist in Moscow and Tokyo, as well as encountering him as a socially and politically active person.
Finding Your Own Voice seeks to find out what drives a person like Gidon Kremer, what lies behind making music, where the deep meaning of music lies hidden. A film about a great intellectual who sees himself as a mediator of values whose ethos is alien to, indeed contrary to, any form of narcissism and profit seeking.
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