Diva Ute Lemper for Norfolk and Norwich Festival

A world premiere of a major choral work and the only confirmed performance in the UK of an iconic cabaret star are just two of the headliners unveiled today for the 2009 Norfolk and Norwich Festival.

A world premiere of a major choral work and the only confirmed performance in the UK of an iconic cabaret star are just two of the headliners unveiled today for the 2009 Norfolk and Norwich Festival.

Hailed as one of the greatest song and chanson divas, Ute Lemper, whose 1998 performance in London's West End production of Chicago won her an Olivier Award, will be appearing at the Norwich Theatre Royal.

Her rare UK performance will close the festival, which takes place in May and is expected to attract crowds of more than 70,000 people from across the east of England.

Also appearing is renowned soprano and four-time Grammy Award winner, Dawn Upshaw, who will be performing with the Brodsky Quartet at Norwich Cathedral.

She will give the first UK performance of Osvaldo Golijov's song cycle since its acclaimed 2004 London premiere.

The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the Norfolk and Norwich Festival Chorus will perform a world premiere of a major new choral work by celebrated composer Jonathan Dove.

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While the final headline act to be announced is leading dance ensemble les ballets C de la B who will be bringing their latest work Ashes to the city as part of a European Tour.

Jonathan Holloway, artistic director, said: “Our reputation for bringing extraordinary events and performances into the UK and into this region has already firmly established the organisation as the international arts festival for the east of England.

“Next year's programme is overflowing with remarkable and magical experiences for adults and children alike and we expect it to bring new audiences from far and wide into the heart of this region.”

Tickets for the four Norfolk and Norwich Festival events go on sale from January 9 although Friends of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival can book now. Call 01603 766400 or visit www.nnfestival.org.uk.