2016 programme unveiled
Mogwai and Humphries star in eclectic Festival
Among the headline performers are Italian mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli, revered conductor Herbert Blomstedt, world-renowned ballerina Natalia Osipova, post-rock icons Sigur Rós, and the Scottish actor Alan Cumming.
Also in the line-up are Edinburgh’s own Mercury Prize-winners Young Fathers, leading conductor Marin Alsop, acclaimed pianist Daniil Trifonov, Senegal’s most celebrated musician Youssou N’Dour and work by choreographer Crystal Pite.
- Artists making their first appearance include Cecilia Bartoli, Youssou N’Dour, James Thierrée, Barry Humphries and Mogwai
- Major productions from two of the world’s leading opera festivals, Salzburg Festpiele (Norma) and Festival d’Aix en Provence (Cosi fan tutte)
- An epic celebration of the start of the festival season, Deep Time is an animated artwork which will transform Castle Rock and Edinburgh Castle
- Major classical music artists include Sir András Schiff, Maxim Vengerov, Daniil Trifonov, Mikhail Pletnev, Anja Kampe, Karen Cargill and Sir John Eliot Gardner
Festival Director Fergus Linehan (pictured) unveiled his second International Festival programme which will include 2,442 artists from 36 nations.
He said: “The calibre, ambition and passion of the artists and ensembles in this year’s programme combined with Edinburgh’s electric Festival atmosphere, will make for an unforgettable experience for newcomers and International Festival veterans alike.”
- Celebrated director John Tiffany returns to Scotland with the European premiere of his Broadway production of Tennessee Williams’s The Glass Menagerie
- The 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare is celebrated with events across the programme and international re-imaginings of three key plays
- Visits from world leading orchestras including the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and the Russian National Orchestra
- Scottish artists take centre stage in a series of concerts celebrating contemporary Scottish music
- The Hub plays host to a nightly house show hosted by Scottish stage and screen star Alan Cumming
- Events for families and young people, including two contrasting dance theatre works
Mr Linehan revealed a rich mix of world-class artists and ensembles from across the performing arts, alongside a superb showcase of Scottish-based talent.
The start of Edinburgh’s festival season is celebrated with a free, public outdoor event at 10.30pm on Sunday 7 August. Deep Time is a digitally animated artwork using the iconic locations of Edinburgh Castle and Castle Rock as the rugged canvas for projections and illuminations inspired by the city’s past.
The event explores 350 million years of Edinburgh history, uncovering the unique geology of a landscape formed by volcanic activity, while celebrating the intellectual legacy of the city and in particular James Hutton, the Edinburgh scientist and ‘father of modern geology’.
Hutton’s work greatly contributed to the evidence-based academic revolution of the Scottish Enlightenment and shifted modern thinking about how the world was formed. Deep Time is set to a specially compiled soundtrack of music by Scottish rock band Mogwai and is produced by Tony-award winning 59 Productions, creators of the acclaimed Harmonium Project that launched Festival 2015.
The University of Edinburgh also partners in the creation of the event, with academics from across the science, arts and humanities contributing.
Mr Linehan also named 59 Productions as Associate Artists of the International Festival for the next three years.
“59 Productions have, time and again, created innovative and compelling work in the fields of music, theatre, opera, film and visual arts while pioneering the use of new technologies. We are delighted to be working with such a remarkable group of artists over the next three years.”
The home of the International Festival, The Hub, will be the venue for a nightly house show which runs throughout August, as well as hosting seven intimate concerts. One of Scotland’s best-loved artists Alan Cumming takes up residence over three weeks and 20 performances, with his cabaret show, Alan Cumming Sings Sappy Songs! Alan dispenses seductive songs and intimate stories featuring very personal reinterpretations of the songs he loves to sing.
The festival will again be brought to a spectacular conclusion on 29 August with the Virgin Money Fireworks Concert. Over 400,000 fireworks will burst into the sky above Edinburgh Castle, choreographed to live music from the Scottish Chamber Orchestra with Estonian conductor Kristiina Poska, continuing 2016’s Shakespearean celebrations with two interpretations of his best known love story, Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet and the Symphonic Dances from Bernstein’s classic West Side Story.
Leonie Bell, Director of Arts at Creative Scotland said: “The 2016 programme for the Edinburgh International Festival is an exciting mix of the classical and the contemporary, when artists and audiences from Scotland and the world will come together across venues and sites throughout Edinburgh to share in a magnificent 3 weeks, filled with dance, music, opera and theatre.”