Foxtel Arts, will launch at 10am Saturday March 28 on Channel 132, bringing opera, ballet, music, theatre, dance, cabaret, classical and contemporary performance, documentary specials and series from cinema, literature, music, visual art and artists.
Amongst the early channel offerings are Screen with Margaret Pomeranz and Graeme Blundell, The Sound of Music Live, Peter Pan Live, Bach’s St. John Passion Les Miserables Live from the O2 Arena, Graeme Murphy’s Swan Lake and Le Corsaire and Andre Rieu.
The HD channel, which replaces SBS-owned STUDIO, will also screen the Tony Awards Live in June.
Foxtel Executive Director of Television, Brian Walsh, said: ”Foxtel is proud to launch a brand new high definition channel dedicated to arts, which will showcase a deep library of world class programming which captures every facet of performance and creativity.
“Foxtel Arts will be curated for a passionate arts audience and feature a dazzling array of performances across many art forms, together with compelling documentaries and entertainment programming. Drawn from an incredibly rich programming palette – from the timeless to the contemporary – Foxtel Arts will bring our subscribers extraordinary experiences in Australian arts and the best from around the world.”
”We are proud that the launch of this channel will extend Foxtel’s commitment to fostering and supporting Australia’s creative industries and arts organisations.” Walsh said.
Foxtel Arts will feature locally-produced magazine shows and specials, festival and event news and information, in-depth interviews and reviews, all in High Definition.
Screen, premiering Thursday April 2 at 8pm, is the first local commission for Arts, and sees the partnership of Australian iconic movie host Margaret Pomeranz with legendary television critic Graeme Blundell.
Margaret and Graeme will discover, digest, review and guide viewers through the latest offerings on our screens – movies, television and online TV in a panel show. Each week Margaret and Graeme will be joined by enthusiasts including Chas Licciardello and guests who will offer new discoveries, fresh insights and a wide range of critical perspectives.
Weeknight programming on Arts leads with documentary series and specials from 7:30pm and follows with great performance specials from 9:30pm Monday to Thursday.
Every Monday evening viewers can ‘find their story’, with documentaries focused on literary and the theatrical. The line-up includes Theatreland – an eight-part documentary which takes its audience behind the scenes of the life in London’s legendary Theatre Royal Haymarket and Shakespeare Uncovered which explains the role of the bard and his characters in shaping the craft and careers of some of the stage’s brightest stars. Monday brings the world’s finest operatic productions to Arts starting with Il Trovatore with Placido Domingo.
On Tuesday evenings, Arts will cover all the visual mediums including the series Portrait Artist of the Year and The Waldemar Januszczak Collection Impressionists.
Wednesday evening’s documentaries explore the worlds of music and dance and are followed by an extensive repertoire of ballets including Graeme Murphy’s Swan Lake and Le Corsaire.
On Thursdays, the focus will turn to the moving image with the premiere of Screen, hosted by Margaret and Graeme, then documentaries from all screen arts followed by great works of instrumental music – all performed by masterful soloists, prestigious orchestras and every type of ensemble in between including, at launch, several performances played under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle.
Friday evening is home to popular favourites such as Andrea Bocelli and Andre Rieu. To launch the channel, Arts will broadcast Love In Venice, filmed in Andre’s home town in the Netherlands, and, for the first time the performance will be televised in full.
Saturday night features some of recording history’s biggest rock and pop acts and, early every Sunday evening, the Arts audience can sit back and enjoy a very special family performance in the ‘Sunday Spotlight’ including The Sound of Music Live, Bach’s St. John Passion and Les Miserables Live from the O2 Arena.
Foxtel Arts will also be the new home to major awards shows including Australia’s annual Helpmann Awards for live performance and Broadway’s coveted Tony Awards broadcast Live in HD.