Adelaide Festival artistic directors to stay until 2023

Adelaide Festival artistic directors Neil Armfield and Rachel Healy have had their contract renewed for another two years until 2023.

It means Healy and Armfield will become the Festival’s most frequent directors with seven annual programs from 2017-23, surpassing Anthony Steel’s five biennial events between 1974 and 1986.

The contract renewal comes as Adelaide Festival announced it will partner with French music event Festival International d’Art Lyrique d’Aix-en-Provence to commission and co-produce major operas for the next three years.

“Neil Armfield and I are absolutely thrilled about embarking on this creative collaboration with Aix-en-Provence, one of the greatest Festivals in the world,’’ Healy told The Advertiser.

“The pact between our two Festivals effectively ensures that opera of the highest international standards will continue as a centrepiece of the Adelaide Festival well into the future.”

Adelaide Festival chair Judy Potter called the French partnership “both an artistic coup and a major strategic step”.

“We have recently affirmed that the presentation of the art form of opera within the Festival is central to our long-term vision,’’ Potter said.