Over the last 30 years, Mara! has been one
of Australia's most widely toured ensembles, performing in 21 countries on 26 International tours.
In 2015, Mara toured to Hong Kong for Musica Viva and Premiere Performances in May, presenting a two-week season of concerts, schools performances and workshops, and then in July, presented "Tra Parole e Silenzio" at festivals and venues in Italy with Martenitsa Choir. In August, Mara! performed concert and dance events in the UK at the Sidmouth International Festival of Folk Arts.
Mara! began their international touring in 1984 in the UK, and recorded their first 2 albums in
London at Topic Records (1984) and Magritte Studios (1987). Mara! have
performed in around 20 London venues including the Barbican Centre, St Martin in
the Fields, South Bank Centre and Summer Festival, Greenwich and Docklands
Festival and the Half Moon, Putney. Mara! has broadcast several times
live-to-air and prerecorded for the BBC, and some British touring has been
funded by the British Council, the Visiting Artists Unit, Southern Arts and the
Northern Ireland Arts Council.
Mara! has an extensive touring
history in the UK, having performed at hundreds of events. Mara! undertook
extensive festival, arts centre and club touring from 1984-1997, from Cardigan
to Ipswich, Brighton to Penrith, Workington to Durham... Folk Festival
highlights have been Cambridge, Belfast, Sidmouth, Trowbridge and
Pontardawe....; arts festivals in Newbury, Omagh, Penzance, Portsmouth and
Glasgow....; music festivals in Aberdeen, Glastonbury, York, Swansea and
Buxton....; pubs in Kesh, London, Birmingham, Manchester and Oxford.... Mara!'s most recent performance in the UK was at Sidmouth International festival 2015.
Mara! have toured in Germany six times,
from Flensburg to Stuttgart, with performances including the Alte Oper
(Frankfurt), WDR Radio Halls in Koln and Bielefeld, the Spiegeltent at the Bonn
Festival, WOMAD Hannover, Bremen and Ludwigshaven Folk Festivals,
LiteraturWERKstat festival Berlin and dozens of Arts Centres and clubs. Mara performed
at the Weimar "European Capital of Culture" Festival 1999, and has
also broadcast for SDR and Hamburg TV.
Mara!'s ARIA award winning album "Live in Europe" was recorded at the European Broadcasting Union festival in the Czech Republic in 2000, where they performed as Australia's representatives at the invitation of ABC's Paul Petran. Mara! were also featured artists in a documentary about that year's festival made by Czech TV, broadcast in most European countries. On the same tour, other major gigs were Australia's day at the Rome Film Festival (Isola Tiberina), performances for a week at Expo 2000 Hannover and Mara!'s second appearance at WOMAD Reading.
The aerial spectacular
"Homeland" with Mara!, Legs on the Wall and Martenitsa Choir, featuring
the music of "Sezoni", was performed by Mara!, Martenitsa principals
and Berlin choristers for a live season in Berlin in 2003, and with
pre-recorded music at the Commonwealth Games festival in Manchester 2002.
"Homeland" was performed for a 10 night season at the Sydney 2000
Olympics and was a highlight of the ABCTV "Today 2000" broadcast in
more than 60 countries.
2001 was one of Mara!'s busiest years, with a tour for the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Musica Viva to Vietnam and Laos. Two months later the band made its first tour to Taiwan for the Taipei World Music festival, where Mara! became the key group in the festival's finale presentation. Shortly after returning to Australia from Taiwan, Mara! performed at several events in Shanghai and Hangzhou to launch Radio Australia in China. That year Mara and Llew also toured in France with Crossroads!
In 2005 Mara! and Martenitsa toured together to present "Sezoni" at WOMAD Reading and in Bulgaria (the birthplace of its librettist Stefan Kozuharov OAM) at the famous quinquennial Koprivshtitsa Festival. On the same tour, Mara! presented instrumental excerpts from the sequel to "Sezoni" - "Tra Parole e Silenzio" - in the main square of Siracusa, Sicily, the home town of its poet Eduardo di Giovanni.
Mara! returned for a second tour in Taiwan in 2007.
In addition to the above, Mara! has now made five tours in Belgium, five in Italy, three to each of Brittany, Holland and Singapore, two to Canada and Luxembourg, and visits to Switzerland, New Zealand and France. The band has had the privilege of performing at venues such as Vredenberg Centrum (Utrecht), Piazza Dei Signori (Padova), Olympic Plaza (Calgary), Hong Kong City Hall, the Old Port (Brest), WOMAD Fort Canning Park (Singapore), AOTEA Centre (Auckland), Gemeinschaftzentrum (Zurich), Hanoi Conservatorium of Music (Vietnam), Lao School of Music and Dance (Vientianne) and festivals such as Edmonton and Vancouver (Canada), Dranouter and Ghent (Belgium), Folkest Udine and Folkermesse Casale (Italy), Lorient Interceltique and Douarnenez (Brittany), Montguyon (France), Shanghai Spring Festival (China) and many, many more. Mara! has broadcast for TV and Radio on numerous European and Asian programs.