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BY Festival of Voices | 08-May-2014
Joyous and celebratory, contemporary and classical, daring and delightful – the Festival of Voices is delighted to present a stunning line-up of national and international musicians from Friday 4 July – Sunday 13 July in Hobart. Australia’s premier celebration of the human voice delivers a glorious program of performances, public events and – uniquely – major workshops run by the artists, in a feast for music lovers of all ages and abilities.

CEO Paul Kooperman said: "In our tenth birthday year we're thrilled to present some of the world's most exciting artists in Hobart, to perform, collaborate and learn from a dynamic community of singers and choirs joining us from across the world."


Unmissable highlights of the Festival's 2014 program include major concerts at Federation Concert Hall by BEN LEE (July 5), one of the most intriguing singer songwriters of his generation; he will perform one exclusive Tasmanian show and hold an intimate, 90-minute vocal workshop; ARIA Award winner and beguiling folk pop singer/songwriter CLARE BOWDITCH (July 11), one of Australia's most divine voices, leads a three-hour performance workshop, with participants joining her on stage in her major concert that evening; and from the US, the electric five-piece and contemporary a cappella champions THE EXCHANGE rock Federation Concert Hall in their major concert (July 12), as well as get Hobart jumping with a five-day workshop for music lovers of all persuasions.


To warm hearts and inspire the imagination, the beloved BONFIRE AND BIG SING (July 11) returns to Salamanca Place as part of the special ten-year celebrations directed by Festival Founder Neil Cameron, master of surprise and spectacle. Led by world renowned artists and hundreds of choristers around a blazing bonfire, all of Hobart is invited to join in and share the stage with festival guests, The Exchange and The Spooky Men's Chorale, uniting in one voice to create a choir of thousands for a mid-winter night's magical evening.


Step inside Hobart City Hall, transformed for the festival into a den of red velvet, dirty cocktails and musical debauchery for VOICEBOX, Festival of Voices' thrilling cabaret/alternative music series curated by award-winning, New York-based cabaret star KIM SMITH. Voicebox features a fabulous program of edgy, contemporary international and Australian artists ncluding the riotous, darkly comic ERIN MARKEY (July 5), named 'Best Offbeat Diva Who's About To Blow Up' by Time Out New York in 2013 for her smart, quirky, moving performance that has audiences in smitten hysterics; KIM SMITH'S own performances ( July 4, 11) reimagining Weimar-era composers such as Friedrich Hollaender and Kurt Weill; JOEY ARIAS (July 4,5), a goddess of New York's downtown performance scene for over 30 years and a bona fide cabaret icon, performance and drag artist whose many claims to fame includes starring as the Mistress of Seduction in Cirque du Soleil's "Zumanity"; the seductive, rugged voice of Australian music legend TEX PERKINS (July 4), teaming up with the majestic guitar of great CHARLIE OWEN for one late night of brooding rock and soothing ballads, including an ode to Hobart he's penned especially for the Festival; American operatic tenor WILL FERGUSON (July 6), whose romantic program has wowed major opera houses across the world; legendary sci-fi actress and singer JANE BADLER (July 9,10) bringing her seductive, neo-gothic cabaret; Australia's genre-bending 'kamikaze cabaret' diva MEOW MEOW (July 5), in her critically acclaimed mix of drag, chanson and performance art; Melbourne sketch and stand-up comic NICOLETTE MINSTER (July 11,12); acclaimed soprano and cabaret star ALI MCGREGOR (July 11,12), shimmying between the worlds of opera, jazz and pop; rising Australian cabaret star CATH ALCORN, in an intimate, acoustic version of her new dark and delicious stage show "Nothing But a Song"; and for two nights only, the newly established TASMANIAN CABARET FESTIVAL created in partnership with a Tasmanian seasoned performer of outstanding talent and repute: Allison Farrow takes over (July 7,8), presenting the state's best cabaret artists.


The Festival of Voices sets itself apart from other festivals by providing the opportunity for guests to participate and to learn from world-class artists, with WORKSHOPS covering all aspects of performance. Remarkable workshop leaders include Tennessee's gospel great ERIC DOZIER leading two soul-stirring sessions of blues, funk and traditional spiritual songs of praise and protest (July 11, 9-13), accompanied by the celebrated Southern Gospel Choir, and internationally renowned British choral conductor DAVID LAWRENCE (July 8, 9-13) delighting classical music lovers through the perennial choral favourite Mozart's Requiem – a masterpiece of intense drama, immense power and tenderness.


Welcoming thousands of singers from Australia and beyond, BIG WORLD, SMALL VOICES (July 12) brings together the bilingual voices of 30 young Tasmanian and Chinese singers, aged 10-17. Planned in Shanghai and created in Hobart, the a cappella BIG WORLD, SMALL VOICES choir will sing their socks off in MONA's atmospheric Nolan Gallery before heading to China for a repeat offering at the 2015 Shanghai Spring International Music Festival.

Other choral highlights of the 2014 Festival of Voices program include one of Australia's best-loved and most highly acclaimed male vocal ensembles, THE SPOOKY MEN'S CHORALE (July 12). The "rugby team-size choir of boofy blokes" (Sydney Morning Herald), will hold a workshop, a singalong around a roaring bonfire and a concert in the Port Arthur Historic Site.


The Festival gets cosy with VOICES @THE BARN, pairing fine food and music for every intimate performance in the stunning Rosny Barn, with alluring combinations like Song and Supper with winner of the Your Theatrics International Cabaret Contest 2014, 23-year-old MELODY BECK (July 6), as well as DEBORAH CONWAY AND WILLY ZYGIER (July 12) performing songs from their latest album, Stories of Ghosts, an evocative mood piece of exceptional clarity that travels the acoustic-based folk relationship of the long-time collaborators.


Inaugurated in 2013, HANDMADE at the Peacock Theatre presents a feast of Tasmanian and world premieres, welcoming audiences to a creative haven of theatre, poetry and a musical array from roots, flamenco, folk to classical music, presenting works that are lovingly crafted and home-grown.

Closing out the 2014 Festival of Voices is the FINALE CHORAL CONCERT (July 13), which showcases the majesty of the voice through many genres at Federation Concert Hall. Under the direction of the Festival's internationally acclaimed guest artists, audiences and participants are invited to share in the magic that 10 days of intense singing and learning can produce. As the Festival of Voices takes over Hobart, spilling across the finest venues and spaces of one of Australia's most stunning cities, watch out for daily pop-up performances in surprising places. In its tenth birthday year, the Festival of Voices unites a diverse pool of extraordinary vocalists to create a festival experience like no other, welcoming thousands of individual singers, choirs and music lovers from across Australia, as the city comes to life with the sound of music.