A tour by one of the world's greatest orchestras and a major collection of ancient Egyptian treasures from the British Museum are among the cultural highlights to be served up in 2013.
Details remain secret so the name-dropping will have wait for another time but the Perth Concert Hall will celebrate its 40th anniversary year, along with the Sydney Opera House, in fine style with the resumption of the World Orchestra Series in November.
It has taken four years of negotiations and planning to secure the orchestra to follow previous visits by the Vienna Philharmonic in 2011, the Berlin Philharmonic in 2010 and the London Philharmonic in 2009. The tour will be announced in the lead-up to the Perth Concert Hall's birthday on January 26.
The coming Australia Day long weekend will mark a perfect storm of arts celebrations as the Art Gallery of WA welcomes the latest instalment of its New York Museum of Modern Art series, the photographic exhibition Picturing New York, and the chaos of Fringe World 2013 gets unleashed on Perth.
Fringe World starts with a bang. A four-day long weekend centred on the Perth Cultural Centre will feature more than 20 shows a night at various Fringe venues, two spiegeltents, a lot of free and family-friendly activities and the debut of the roaming steampunk "performance machine" Mechronos.
As Fringe World rolls out over the next month, festival-goers will have the choice of more than 300 acts, including headliners from last year Frisky and Mannish, the Wau Wau Sisters, Circus Briefs, Barry Morgan and Marcel Lucont. The English pop parody duo Frisky (the corset-clad Laura Corcoran) and Mannish (campy, multi-instrumental pocket rocket Matthew Jones) are returning to Perth for their third Fringe to debut their latest show Extra Curricular Activities.
"This is our big, splashy celebration of our favourite pastime - titting around with pop songs," Corcoran says.
Half-way through the Fringe festivities, the marquee names start showing up for the main event - the Perth International Arts Festival.
Running from February 8 to March 2, PIAF will include Robert Wilson and Berliner Ensemble's The Threepenny Opera, The Sydney Theatre Company's The Secret River, Philip Glass, Laurie Anderson and the Kronos Quartet, the Dublin Gate Theatre's adaption of Samuel Beckett's Watt, author Margaret Atwood, the Ballet National de Marseille, Dead Can Dance and white-hot rapper Macklemore.
Another international festival bound to make waves will be the Perth International Comedy Festival. Running from May 1-9 in just its second year, the bill will feature Adrian Edmondson and the Bad Shepherds, Stephen K Amos, Paul Foot, Jeff Green, Felicity Ward, Tracy Morgan, the Wayans Brothers Lawrence Leung, Tommy Dean and Asher Treleaven.
Also on the comedy front, the great Dame, the former Moonee Ponds housewife Edna Everage, takes her final bows along with Sir Les Patterson and other Barry Humphries characters at the Crown Theatre in February. In March, Canadian funny man Russell Peters plays the Perth Arena and Ross Noble brings his Mindbender tour to Challenge Stadium.
A blockbuster event in any year, Cirque du Soleil returns with Ovo, a circus-world Bug's Life under its yellow and blue Grand Chapiteau at Langley Park from April 14.
Jersey Boys, the first of several musicals tipped for the Crown Theatre in 2013, brings to the stage the rags-to-riches story and 60s pop magic of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons from April 21.
Don't be surprised to hear announcements about Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Addams Family and Legally Blonde in coming months.
Other WA tours from the east coast will include Bell Shakespeare's Henry 4, starring John Bell, in April, and a rare appearance by the Australian Dance Theatre to perform G, its modern take on the Giselle story, from June 26 to July 7.
On the local front, there will be much interest in the WA Ballet's final two seasons for the year, Onegin and Peter Pan. A masterpiece of the ballet repertoire, John Cranko's Onegin will be presented in Perth for the first time in September. JM Barrie's family adventure-fantasy will take flight at His Majesty's Theatre in November, choreographed by Russell Kerr from the Royal New Zealand Ballet and with picture book-inspired designs.
The WA Opera celebrates its Year of the Divo, a follow-up to last year's Year of the Diva, with a season at His Majesty's Theatre highlighted by the magnetic Teddy Tahu Rhodes in Don Giovanni in July and Garrett Sorenson starring in La Boheme in October and November.
Decades after legendary violinist Pinchas Zukerman's last recital in Perth, he will return to the Perth Concert Hall as both soloist and conductor for the WA Symphony Orchestra on November 8 and 10.
Movie buffs are in for a treat in the 2013 WASO season program, with the orchestra and WASO Chorus performing live the soundtrack to a screening of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl in April. In June, there'll be a screening of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring with the WASO playing Howard Shore's Oscar-winning score.
To continue the Perth Concert Hall's 40th anniversary celebrations, WASO principal conductor Paul Daniel presides over a gala concert including Mahler's vast Seventh Symphony in August.
The Black Swan State Theatre Company brings Oscar-nominated film director Bruce Beresford to Perth in June to direct his first play in WA, Joanna Murray-Smith's three-couple entanglement comedy Day One, A Hotel, Evening at the Heath Ledger Theatre in June. Tim Winton also features in 2013. The third play in Winton's Western Australian trilogy, Shrine, is inspired by roadside memorials for fatal car crashes and it opens in August before a Canberra centenary festival tour.
International tourists this year will include classical crossover star Yanni at the Perth Arena on January 27, followed by Celtic Thunder on February 16.
Operamania, a selection of well-loved arias from Moscow's Novaya Opera, is at the Perth Concert Hall from April 7-9 and the ever-popular violinist and king of the waltz Andre Rieu leads his 60-piece Johann Strauss Orchestra at the Arena on October 29.
Visitors to the WA Museum will be able to a journey through the afterlife guided by the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead. Opening in June (details have not been confirmed yet), the exhibition from the British Museum will feature a dazzling array of painted coffins, gilded masks, amulets, jewellery, tomb figurines and mummy trappings.In the same month, the third instalment of the Art Gallery of WA-MoMA partnership brings works by Van Gogh, Dali, Cezanne, Wesselman, Modigliani, Kahlo and Richter to Perth. Opening on June 22, the exhibition Van Gogh, Dali and Beyond: The World Reimagined will straddle three "isms" of 20th art - Impressionism, Cubism and Surrealism - that reinvented landscape, still life and portraiture.
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