Tina Arena’s New Gig

Next Artistic Director of Adelaide Cabaret Festival will be Tina Arena

Alan Cumming to Pass on His Baton

Tina Arena, Adelaide Cabaret Festival Artistic Director 2022. Photo Bernard Gueit

Adelaide Festival Centre has announced iconic Australian singer-songwriter, record producer, actress and consummate performer Tina Arena AM will take on the role of Artistic Director for the 2022 Adelaide Cabaret Festival.

On the final night of this year’s festival (Saturday, June 26), outgoing Adelaide Cabaret Festival Artistic Director, Alan Cumming passed on the baton at the sold-out Club Cumming in The Famous Spiegeltent, while celebrating one of the most successful years in the festival’s history.

This year, Adelaide Festival Centre’s Adelaide Cabaret Festival featured more than 180 artists performing over 12 dazzling days and nights with 44 sold out performances and more than 34,000 attendances at ticketed and free events, with Club Cumming proving to be the hottest ticket in town.

An ARIA Hall of Fame inductee and accomplished international performer, incoming Artistic Director Tina Arena’s work has ranged from musical theatre (most recently playing the lead role of Eva Peron in the Australian production of Evita), to classical, rock, pop, dance and even indie.

She has shared the stage with world-renowned artists including Lionel Richie, Donna Summer, Marc Anthony, Andrea Bocelli and Antonio Banderas.

Photo Callum Sims

Tina Arena is one of Australia’s highest selling artists, having sold over 10 million records worldwide and singing in English, Italian, French and Spanish. Her musical theatre credits include the West End production of Chicago in 2007 as Roxie Hart and in 2002 she played the role of Sally Bowles in Cabaret at Sydney’s State Theatre.

Tina Arena’s remarkable career began at the tender age of eight as a favourite on Young Talent Time where ‘Tiny Tina’ with the big voice became a household name. Voted Australia’s greatest female singer of all time in 2013, Tina’s stunningly powerful voice remains unparalleled after 40 years in the industry and she has inspired generations of Australians, paving the way for upcoming Australian female artists to reach new heights within the Australian music industry.

“I am so looking forward to getting stuck into programming next year’s Adelaide Cabaret Festival as Artistic Director and working with some incredible artists I’ve come to know, love and respect over my decades working in Australia and internationally,” said 2022 Artistic Director Tina Arena. 

“Performing is my lifeblood, I love to sing and connect with audiences through story-telling and the incredible power of music – to me this is at the heart of cabaret.

“I’m so ready to take on this role and share my love of art, music, performance and of course cabaret with Australian audiences in Adelaide – a place I’ve always loved for its extraordinary arts and culture scene and its welcoming people.”  

Alan Cumming on stage at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Photo Claudio Raschelia

Adelaide Cabaret Festival 2021 Artistic Director Alan Cumming said, “This year’s Adelaide Cabaret Festival has been nothing short of joyous, vibrant and elating! To be able to connect with audiences again after such a tumultuous time has been a heart-felt experience for artists, myself included, and audiences alike. Cabaret is such a vital form of connection for us all through music, dance, and comedy.

“Thanks to our fabulous audiences for your enthusiasm and support, I have felt so welcomed and loved by you all and I’ve had such a ball both entertaining you on stage and dancing the night away at Club Cumming every weekend.

“I wish Tina Arena all the best as new AD of this beloved winter festival, and hopefully I’ll get to see you all again soon!”   

Adelaide Festival Centre CEO & Artistic Director Douglas Gautier AM said,  “During his year at the helm, Alan Cumming has led the way with his powerful artistic pursuits and created one of the most successful cabaret festivals in history, despite the challenges presented in the past year and recent weeks.

“Alan has been an outstanding advocate for South Australia’s favourite winter festival and has put his all into creating a fantastic buzz and atmosphere. We thank and commend Alan and the cabaret team and staff for their incredible vision, creativity, diligence, and persistence.

“We look forward to celebrating with you all in person again next year, when accomplished entertainer Tina Arena leads the way as Artistic Director of Adelaide Cabaret Festival 2022.”

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