Barbican Centre adds to London 2012 Festival programme

London's Barbican Centre is pulling out all the stops with its programme this year to celebrate both its own 30th anniversary as well as the London 2012 Olympics.

Since the Queen first cut the ribbon on the arts venue in 1982, it has grown to become a thriving cultural centre for the capital, hosting numerous plays, concerts and exhibitions, making it a major attraction for those staying in hotel accommodation in London.

The centre this week unveiled its programme for the 2012/13 season, which is packed full of high-calibre productions and internationally recognised names to mark its anniversary year.

"This is a defining moment for the Barbican Centre. Thirty years ago the City of London opened the Barbican as a model of the arts in a residential estate, and since then it has become a beacon locally, nationally and internationally for the adventurous arts," said managing director Sir Nicholas Kenyon.

The programme also features a number of additions to the Barbican's contribution to the London 2012 Festival -a programme of art and cultural events being held to celebrate this summer's Olympic Games.

Sir Nicholas added: "The Barbican is at the heart of the London 2012 Festival celebrations with a rich programme featuring Cate Blanchett, Peter Sellars, Wynton Marsalis, Einstein on the Beach, and a Pina Bausch season which is selling out fast."

Highlights of the new programme include a major new exhibition exploring photography of the 1960s and 1970s from an international perspective, several new music projects such as a collaboration between Chilly Gonzales and the BBC Symphony Orchestra and a double bill of Oliver Knussen’s fantasy operas Where the Wild Things Are and Higglety Pigglety Pop.

These are added to the numerous events the Barbican is already hosting as part of the London 2012 Festival, which include Cate Blanchett starring in a new version of the German 1978 play by Botho Strauss Gross und Klein and August Strindberg's Mademoiselle Julie featuring Juliette Binoche.

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