Christian Baumgaertel and chorus rehearsing for The Lindbergh Flight, 2008
Christian Baumgaertel and chorus rehearsing for The Lindbergh Flight, 2008

With the New Zealand International Arts Festival coming up soon (from Feb 21 - Mar 16 this year), and as this is the first one I'll miss since I started working with them in 1998, I thought I'd have my own festival of photos, from the time I spent as their sole photographer from 2004 to 2012.  I'm going to have a look through my archives, and pull out a few - but not TOO many - images that might not have been seen at the time, but that I like looking back at now.

And just to make it more interesting, I'm going to organise it by the day I took them, regardless of which year it was; so it'll be a real cross section of images!  There'll be rehearsals (like today), staff at work, venues being built, sound checks, live performances, and who knows what else.  Hopefully a few of the folks I worked with over the years will enjoy it, and it'll give everyone else a taste of what it's like from the inside, documenting a 24-day arts festival from top to bottom, start to finish, end to end.

So, to start us off: today, on February 12th 2008, we were rehearsing for François Girard's production of Berthold Brecht's opera, The Lindbergh Flight / The Flight Over The Ocean, in the Royal New Zealand Ballet rehearsal rooms in the St James Theatre...!

The thing that always struck me about the first image is how, amazingly enough, I took nearly the identical photo in the final dress rehearsal without realising it.  His position in front of the chorus, his posture, and my position in the theatre relative to them, were all incredibly similar without my consciously intending them to be - but, you'll have to wait a few days to see that one!

Christian Baumgaertel and chorus rehearsing for The Lindbergh Flight, 2008
Christian Baumgaertel and chorus rehearsing for The Lindbergh Flight, 2008

(One footnote - it might be a couple of days before the next post in the series, often I'd do weekly site visits leading up to the start of the Festival itself, so there are some gaps in early / mid February!)

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