18.5.2011 -

Reykjavík Arts Festival opens May 20

Reykjavík Arts Festival will continue throughout June 5 with a variety of events taking place
in and around Iceland’s capital. This year, emphasis will be placed on the performing arts.

On the festival’s website, the program is described as, “a feast of music and dance,
brimming with exciting concerts of all kinds, striking dance performances and colorful theatre
experiences for all ages.”

This year, festival goers will be able to enjoy performances in Harpa, the brand new concert
and conference hall on the Reykjavík seaside, where one of the highlights will take place on
May 21 when German tenor Jonas Kaufmann performs with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra
in a gala concert in the main music hall, Eldborg.

Another highlight of the festival in Harpa will be a performance by beloved American soprano
Barbara Bonney on June 5.

Other international artists include Ojos del Brujo, Beijing Dance Theatre, Tomi Ungerer,
The Krakow Sinfonietta, Louise Bourgeois, Michel Houllebecq, Tony Allen and Les Slovaks
Dance Collective.

Established in 1970, the Reykjavík Arts Festival is Iceland's premier cultural festival,
bringing together the best in local and international theatre, dance, music and visual art,
as stated on visitreykjavik.is.

The program offers a variety of exhibitions, concerts, dance performances,
theatre and opera. Along with its focus on Icelandic culture past and present,
the festival hosts many outstanding international artists and performers.

Visit the Arts Festival's website for the full program

The Reykjavík Arts Festival is held every year in May. It was held biennially from 1970
and annually from 2004. The Festival is one of Northern Europe's the oldest and most
respected arts festivals. It is organised by an Artistic Director, appointed by the Board.
The three Board members are appointed, respectively, by the Minister of Culture
and Education, the Mayor of Reykjavik and the Festival´s Council of Representatives.
The Festival is financed by the Government and City Council, box office income and
private sponsors, and is presided over by the Minister of Culture and the Mayor of
Reykjavík on a rotating basis. Vladimir Ashkenazy, one of the founders of the Festival,
has been honorary president from the outset. The patron is the President of Iceland,
Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson. The purpose of the Festival is to promote Icelandic and
international culture in all fields of art. The programs offer a range of concerts, theatre
performances, exhibitions, dance and opera. In combination with its focus on Icelandic culture,
past and present, the Festival has hosted many outstanding international artists and performers.