The Peak Almanac 2020: Call To Culture

The Peak Almanac 2020: Call To Culture

The Peak looks forward to the year ahead by taking a peek at the new and upcoming cultural events that are set to push boundaries.

The artistic trends of 2020 are still intent on creating dialogue, venturing into new territories and pushing boundaries, with both new amd established names up on the marquee.


Cannes Film Festival

May 12 – 23

The peak of great cinematography where international talent come together to celebrate the silver screen, the Cannes Film Festival is back for its 73rd edition. While known as a prestigious and exclusive affair, the Cannes Film Festival is a relatively open event where students and film critics alike can earn their accreditation which offers varying levels of access to the festival. The main draw of the festival is the plethora of international films that truly show off the diversity within the world of filmography. Whether it’s last year’s landslide winner of the 2019 Palme d’Or award, Parasite, the first Korean film to win the accolade, the French love story, Portrait of a Lady on Fire, to the American horror The Lighthouse, the Cannes Film Festival is a multicultural melange of great storytelling. This year’s festival will certainly follow in the same footsteps.


Cecil Beaton’s Bright Young Things

March 12 – June 7

A robust clientele that included the likes of Winston Churchill, Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel, Marlene Dietrich and Marlon Brando merely reinforces the fact that at one point, Cecil Beaton was the world’s favourite photojournalist. His extensive series of portraits and works are set to be exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery from March 12th till June 7th. Bright Young Things draws back the curtain on the glamorous era of the 20s and 30s when British high society evolved from a solemn facade to a high octane, eccentric scene of socialites, writers, partygoers and artists alike. Beaton shot several of his own close friends from Anna May Wong and Oliver Messel all the way to higher ranking personalities such as Edwina Mountbatten, Stephen Tennant, the Marquesa de Casa Maury and Baba, Princess de Faucigny-Lucinge and Dolly Wilde, niece of Oscar Wilde.



April 4 – July 26

Among the plethora of stern older men heralded in the Baroque era for painting intense contrasts and soft colours, was a woman who had earned her own reputation that has only recently come to light. Artemisia Gentileschi is a name not many know but which the National Gallery in London is hoping to highlight ever since acquiring one of her paintings, Self Portrait as Saint Catherine of Alexandria. Written off from history due to her gender, Artemisia Gentileschi was a titan in her own right. Having followed the Caravaggisti style of painting , her paintings were usually of strong and suffering women which garnered her such acclaim that she was the first woman to gain access into the prestigious Academia di Arte del Disegno or ‘Academy of the Arts of Drawing’ in Florence. Artemisia’s work will, for the first time ever, be exhibited at the National Gallery of UK and is a definite must-see.


Romeo and Juliet, American Ballet Theatre

May 22 – 30

The American Ballet Theatre’s Spring production of Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet has already seen sold-out dates for advanced bookings. Held at the Metropolitan Opera House in the month of May, the dance company has none other than its principal dancer Misty Copeland and soloist Calvin Royal III headlining the production. The ballet also sees renowned names behind the scenes with Kenneth MacMillan choreographing and Nicholas Gerogiad is in charge of backdrop and costume. Alongside Romeo and Juliet, the American Ballet Theatre has several other performances lined up for its Spring season, from classics such as Swan Lake and Jane Eyre to an Alexei Ratmansky premiere Of Love and Rage, and contemporary performances such as La Bayadère.


Tony Bennett Tour

January 24 – March 15

A product of Old Hollywood with a golden voice to match, the indefatigable 92-year-old Tony Bennett treats his fans once more as he tours across the United States. A singer whose vocal portfolio encompasses traditional pop, big band, jazz and show tunes and whose walls are lined with his nineteen Grammy Awards, two Emmy Awards as well as his accolades as a NEA Jazz Master and a Kennedy Center Honoree, Tony is an icon onto itself. Continuing his leg of the tour from 2019, Tony Bennett sings us into the new year with performances in Indio and Temecula in California on the 24th and 26th of January, Mashantucket, Connecticut on the 13th of March before ending on a high note at North Bethesda, Maryland on the 15th of March.


17th International Architecture Exhibition, La Biennale de Venezia

May 23 – November 29

In a world that is constantly evolving through globalisation, economic inequality and the soapbox of the internet, the 17th International Architecture Exhibition held in Venice asks the right question – How will we live together? Hashim Sarkis, a Lebanese architect as well as the curator of the 17th International Architecture Exhibition put forward the question, forcing participating architects to look at all that is dividing the world, and create a space for a peaceful existence. Architects are invited to work with other professions such as journalists and social scientists on the project for diverse opinions. Beautifully put together while highlighting real pressing issues, the 17th International Architecture Exhibition has less to do with building a house and more to do with creating sustainable worlds.


Arena di Verona Festival

June 13 – Sept 5

The much-celebrated summer festival of opera, located in the city of Verona, Italy has been organised under the auspices of an official body, Ente Autonomo Spettacoli Lirici Arena di Verona since 1936. Following its legislation in 1996, the event has found a new home at the Ente Lirico Arena di Verona, and has transformed into a privately-run celebration. The 2019 edition of the festival saw a bumper crop of events at the fest which saw the festival spanning over three packed months that showcased five full on operas, three special events, 51 staging dates and some 80 solo artists from around the world, so expect a similar serving this year!


Félix Fénéon The Anarchist and the AvantGarde – From Signac to Mattise and Beyond

March 22 – July 25

Not many can boast to be a patron of the arts and a Parisian anarchist in the same breath but such was the life of the extraordinary Félix Fénéon. As French art critic, editor, publisher, dealer and collector, Félix Fénéon’s greatest talent was helping to push the group of artists he championed to great heights. Coining the term neo-impressionism for the group of artists he promoted, the names involved with Fénéon included George Seurat to Pierre Bonnard right up to Henri Matisse. In the first ever museum exhibition created in Fénéon’s honour, the Museum of Modern Arts celebrates the collector’s life through 150 paintings from artists Fénéon’s initiatives and actions have aided. Alongside this, photographs, contemporary letters and documents procured from Félix Fénéon’s past will be available for public viewing. The pièce de résistance of the exhibition is Paul Signac’s Opus 217, Against the Enamel of a Background Rhythmic with Beats and Angles, Tones, and Tints, Portrait of M. Félix Fénéon in 1890 (1890), depicting Félix Fénéon in all his glory.

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