HIFA Retrospective

8 05 2008

It is all over for another year. That it came off at all is a minor miracle and testament to the determination (this year’s slogan was The Art of Determination) of the organizers who not only pulled it off in extremely difficult circumstances but pulled it off with an amazingly good programme. There were all of six (I think) cancellations by artistes who thought that the “situation” in Zimbabwe was too dangerous and pulled out at the last minute. We didn’t miss them; they were replaced by acts that were just as good if not better. Those artistes that I did get to talk to all raved about HIFA and wanted to come back. It was also noticeable that a number are becoming staunch supporters of the event and have come back for several years now. Daniel Lager the counter tenor is one, Hans Lüdemann and Trio Ivoire are another.

As a press officer I was fortunate enough to be able to get to see what ever I wanted but it was a bit more complex than that. Part of a team of reviewers I felt bound to let the others who had to be allocated tickets (I had carte blanche) get first pick so I tended to go to the less popular shows, I guess you could call it “The Fringe”. Still, I have enjoyed it. I did not see a single dud and there was some great stuff to be seen though nothing that left me speechless. There were only two shows that I felt I missed out on; Truth in Translation which even impressed a friend who is less than culturally inclined and Thibault Cauvin, a world class French classical guitarist.

It also got me away from work where business is not going well, to a world of escapism and creativity and allowed me to indulge my own creativity a bit (and even push my self to be creative under pressure). This blog is made much easier by all the notes I had to take. In some places I will just reproduce my review but in most I can be a bit more personal. Note that we were reviewers not critics. Our job was to promote the good shows. Being a critic is much more difficult; one has to know what one is talking about!This is the first year that I have been involved in the project though not much on the organizational side. I was impressed overall by how smoothly it ran; it’s a huge amount of organization. A couple of areas need attention, IT being the main one. I suppose it is not that surprising as most of the management are artistes themselves!



One response

9 05 2008
Big Blister

Glad to hear you had some distractions from everything else! Hope work improves for you.

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