Report to the Community 2015 - Page 4

Contents MELBOURNE FESTIVAL Melbourne Festival is one of Australia’s flagship international arts festivals and one of the major multi-arts festivals of the world. The 2015 Melbourne Festival ran from 08—25 October under the artistic direction of Josephine Ridge. In 2015 Melbourne Festival celebrated 30 years of presenting the world’s best arts experiences to local audiences. Artistic Director Josephine Ridge’s third and final program revealed a strong focus on writing, literary adaptations, collaborations, opportunities for debate and discussion, and a feast of world class performances from local and international artists. The 2015 festival brought to its conclusion many initiatives and ideas Josephine explored over three years at the helm. From TANDERRUM: a powerful ceremony bringing together Elders from the five clans of the Eastern Kulin to celebrate their rich cultural heritage and mark the Festival opening, Hadyn for Everyone: a quest to perform all 68 of Haydn’s string quartets and pay homage to the man who invented the genre, the Foxtel Festival Hub as a go-to contemporary music venue, and underlying themes such as the creatively charged intersection of art and politics. OUR PURPOSE Sharing extraordinary arts experiences that stimulate and celebrate our creativity, deepen our understanding of the human spirit, and strengthen and enrich our communities. OUR AMBITION Presenting an internationally acclaimed arts festival that connects the highest calibre of local, national and international artists and audiences to experience the best of the contemporary arts and to make a unique contribution to the cultural life of Melbourne. 2 Josephine’s three festivals were characterised by international cocommissions such as Hofesh Shechter’s Sun and Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre’s The Rite of Spring / Petrushka. Local and international co-commissions included Circa’s Opus, Complexity of Belonging with Melbourne Theatre Company and Chunky Move and Australian co-commissions included Malthouse Theatre’s The Shadow King, headed for a London season in 2016 and Opera Australia and Barking Gecko’s The Rabbits. Support for the independent sector included three commissions with Theatre Works: Daniel Schlusser Ensemble’s M+M, THE RABBLE’s Room of Regret, Fraught Outfit/St Martins’ The Bacchae and with Arts House Stephanie Lake and Robin Fox’s A Small Prometheus. The 30th edition of the Festival featured closed to 80 events—almost half of which were free—and achieved a box office of around $3.3 million, the strongest result in over a decade.