A packed audience clapped and cheered as the final curtain went down on the region's premier arts event last night.
Verdi's Requiem was hailed as the show chosen to close the Taranaki International Arts Festival and the sold-out concert left success ringing in the ears of festival organisers.
Hannah Watson, 26, was there with her mother, Maxine Watson, and her grandmother, Sheila Gillespie.
"We absolutely loved it, it was just fabulous. So much work was put into it. The four soloists were spectacular," she said.
New Plymouth soprano singer Bryony Williams was one of those soloists and said performing Libera Me on a home stage again was unforgettable.
"It all came together really, really well and everyone was buzzing when we came off-stage.
"It was such a beautiful experience," the 24-year-old said.
Down the road from the Ars Nova and New Plymouth Orchestra concert, people were waving goodbye to outdoor exhibition What is the Colour of the Breeze?
The wind-chime work was looking a bit battered but artist Tiffany Singh did not mind.
"They have been responding to nature. It's a visual relationship with the wind," she said.
Children had been asked to think about their wishes when they added colour to the chimes.
Those wishes were released when some chimes were damaged in strong winds last week, Singh said yesterday.
"What you are looking at now is 1001 wishes that have been released as the chimes have broken down."
Despite the Govett-Brewster exhibition being closed last Friday because of strong winds, almost 10,000 people made their way through the sensory experience.
Visual art and classical music were not the only thing on the playbill. The festival also included cabaret, comedy and theatre.
More than 14,500 people attended the shows and festival director Drew James said it had been a busy and exciting few weeks.
"One of the highlights for me was the good weather for the lantern parade and the high level of participation we had in it. It was a real community event," he said.
Although Mr James enjoyed the festivities in central New Plymouth, he had been most impressed with the way the festival was received and supported in the smaller areas of Taranaki.
"I absolutely loved being an audience member in Party with the Aunties in the Waitara District Service & Citizens Club.
"There was a full audience of people, many of whom would not have gone to the theatre, but this was something for them in their town," he said.
Although the final financial count had not been done, James was confident the Taranaki Arts Festival Trust would meet their targets.
Meanwhile, preparations for the 2015 festival will begin immediately.
"We start that now. There were shows we weren't able to present in this festival that we have already earmarked for 2015.
"And we have Womad to launch in October as well," he said.
14,500 attendances at shows
7500 spectators at the lantern parade
3500 students involved in schools programme
400 artists from 9 different countries
29 Daily News reviews
14 shows in the wider regions
2 years until the next festival
- © Fairfax NZ News
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