Upbeat broadcasts live from Dunedin's Octagon as part of the opening day of the Otago Festival of the Arts

The broadcast begins with a live performance from British percussion group The Dhol Foundation - Punjabi beats will fill the Octagon. Known for their energetic live performances on the WOMAD circuit, The Dhol Foundation is best described as a fusion of Indian drumming, Celtic folk and afro-beats, founded on Johnny Kalsi's mission to take the Dhol, a double sided drum, to the wider world.

The Dhol Foundation.
The Dhol Foundation. Image courtesy of the Otago Festival of the Arts.

Ex-Dunedin singer Katbite, aka Katherine Krohn (nee Leese) with brother Matthew Leese and Dan Carberg will perform some of her "sarcastic pop" songs for the crowd in Dunedin's Octagon and for Concert listeners at home.

Katbite. Image courtesy of the Otago Festival of the Arts.

L 'Orfeo Also on the show Jacquie Coates, who's directing Monteverdi's L 'Orfeo (The Story of Orpheus) for Otago Opera.Composed in 1607 it wasn't the first opera ever written, but it's the first great one. Jacquie will talk about her new production which is being sung in English in a translation by Dunedin's John Drummond.

Image of L 'Orfeo (right) courtesy of the Otago Festival of the Arts.

Dynamic violinist Bella Hristova (right) - past winner of the Michael Hill Violin Competition - will play her 1655 Nicolò Amati violin and Dunedin composer Anthony Ritchie will talk about his new Symphony which has its world première at the Festival - part of his 50th birthday celebration.

Bella HristovaUpbeat will finish with a live performance from Dunedin jazz band Subject2Change.

The festival has a packed programme and it doesn't end there. Tune into Upbeat for continuing coverage of the events with news, interviews and reviews of the shows as they happen.

Upbeat's Eva Radich is excited about broadcasting live - "It's always a buzz to be in the middle of a festival, and to give our nationwide audience an experience of an international festival."

Right: Bella Hristova. Image courtesy of the Otago Festival of the Arts.