The Bermuda Festival of the Performing Arts will celebrate its 45th year with a lineup that includes famed Albanian violinist Alda Dizdari, a performance of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet and the Afro-Jazz gospel of Nobuntu. This year’s “Come Together” theme reflects unity and collaboration, showcasing the power of the performing arts in bringing people together.
Here’s a sneak peek at this year’s lineup.
Theatre, Song & Dance: High DramaMaybe it’s the fact that Bermuda was the inspiration for Shakespeare’s The Tempest, or maybe it’s the generations of vibrant Gombey dancers that have been so integral to the island’s heritage – but the performing arts have always factored heavily into Bermuda’s arts and culture scene.
One of the best ways to illustrate this year’s “Come Together” theme is to reflect on the story of a family that is torn apart. The Glass Menagerie (Jan. 21-22), Tennessee Williams’ classic play, became an instant classic in 1944 and is considered one of the greatest American plays ever written. The 2020 production is directed by Bermudian Rowan Vickers.
Fittingly, Shakespeare will have a presence at this year’s festival. On February 17 and 18, enjoy a reimagined Romeo & Juliet which transports the Bard’s tragic romance to Northern Italy in the 1960s, a setting filled with conflict and youthful rebellion. But this won’t be your only chance to experience the story of these “star-cross’d lovers.” On March 10 and 11, Welsh Ballet company Cymru will bring their version of Romeo and Juliet the festival, with Bermudian dancer Krystal Lowe in a lead role.
On March 3 and 4, discover the boundary breaking spectacle of the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company. This diverse group of dancers is dedicated to providing exceptional performances and quality community engagement wherever they go.
Big-Name Concerts Come to BermudaIn keeping with Bermuda’s deep passion for music, the festival is packed with musical performances from local and international artists alike.
Among the headliners is Naturally 7 (Jan. 17-18), called “the best a cappella group in the world” by famed producer/musician Quincy Jones. The band’s eclectic repertoire ranges from Michael Bublé and Coldplay on through to Mahalia Jackson and Queen.
World class violinist Alda Dizdari will grace the stage this Festival season for a total of four spectacular performances, Jan. 26-29. For two of the performances, Alda will be accompanied by a Bermudian string ensemble.
Nobuntu (Feb. 28-29), a female a cappella quintet from Zimbabwe, performs everything from traditional Zimbabwean songs to Afro Jazz to Gospel. The ensemble’s mission is the belief that music can be an important vehicle for change — perfect for this year’s theme of unity.
On March 1, join a celebration of the 170th anniversary of Bermuda’s Portuguese community in style with Ana Mouro, one of Portugal’s most renowned performers. An international star, Ana has shared the stage with such music icons as Prince, The Rolling Stones and Herbie Hancock.
On March 6, five-time Grammy winner Dianne Reeves will bring her virtuosic vocals to Bermuda. Reeves is the world’s preeminent jazz singer and has performed at the White House several times.
Family-Friendly Fun: From The Circus to SongwritingIf you have the family in tow, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the number of kid-friendly options the festival offers.
Get ready to be amazed and inspired by the dazzling acrobatics of Hogwallops (Feb. 1-2). A blend of dynamic circus skills and theatrical excitement, this family friendly performing troupe has audience rolling in the aisles all over the world.
Prepare to be wowed by Bermuda’s youngest and most talented musicians. Hosted by Bermudian singer-songwriter Heather Nova, the “On Stage” competition (Feb. 25) will put the spotlight on tomorrow’s brightest stars.
Start making plans to enjoy this year’s Bermuda Festival of the Arts. Look into tickets and packages.