Curtain rises on feast of Festival attractions
• Nuts CocoNuts, an English-language version of Jordi Milan’s Spanish hit
• The works of Irish playwright JM Synge performed in a single day
• Scottish Opera’s The Death of Klinghoffer, based on a cruise ship hijacking murder;
• Blackbird, a "darkly intense" new play by Scot David Harrower;
• Swan Lake, touted as the pick of the dance programme;
• The BBC SSO's opening gala performance of Verdi’s Requiem
"Commissioning and creating our own work, and bringing together international artists and companies to work in new ways, ensures that the Festival remains the essential destination for everyone interested in the arts, whether from Tokyo, Los Angeles, or just around the corner." Brian McMaster, festival director.
Story in full: THE line-up for this year’s Edinburgh International Festival was today revealed, with organisers promising a feast of artistic treats from around the globe.
Just weeks after a last-minute funding crisis was resolved, a programme of world-class dance, drama, ballet and music has been unveiled.
Expected highlights include the world premiere of three new plays by Scottish writers, a new version of Swan Lake, a showcase of traditional Japanese theatre and the revival of a controversial opera based on the hijacking of a cruise ship.
Appearances by Scottish Opera, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Scottish Ballet rub shoulders in the programme with the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra of Moscow Radio, Germany’s Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, Pennsylvania Ballet, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and Dutch National Ballet.
Star names tipped to boost ticket sales include choreographer Christopher Wheeldon, directors Anthony Neilson, Olivier Py and Jordi Milan, playwrights JM Synge, David Harrower and Shan Khan, and conductors Vladimir Fedoseyev, Sir Charles Mackerras and Jonathan Nott.
The Festival faced a major financial crisis last month when it emerged that it had a 600,000 black hole in its programming budget, but it was bailed out at the 11th hour by the Scottish Executive and the city council.
Among the experiences on offer this year are the chance to see six Irish plays in the one day, a late-night celebration of Kurdish music at the Usher Hall, watching performances in a former drill hall in Leith and the staging - in Hungarian - of Chekhov’s classic tragic comedy The Seagull.
Controversy is likely to surround the first British staging of the opera The Death of Klinghoffer, directed by Scottish playwright Anthony Neilson and performed by Scottish Opera.
It is based on the true story of the ill-fated 1985 voyage of a Mediterranean cruise ship hijacked by four Palestinians and the subsequent murder of the wheelchair-bound victim.
The Birmingham Repertory Theatre Company - which was forced to scrap a production in its home city last December following an outcry from the Sikh community - will be performing what is billed as a "provocative" new play, written by Glaswegian playwright Shan Khan about multicultural life in Britain, set in a college’s multi-faith prayer room.
Also likely to create a stir is Blackbird, a new "unflinching, darkly intense" play about a woman who decides to track down the man who was jailed 15 years earlier after they had an affair when she was just 13. Set to be directed by the German Peter Stein, the play has been written by Harrower, one of Scotland’s most acclaimed playwrights.
Already tipped to be one of the hottest tickets is the show Nuts CocoNuts, which Catalan director Jordi Milan, who was a huge hit in Edinburgh in 1997 with the show Blinded by Love, is staging at Out of the Blue, the former drill hall on Dalmeny Street, off Leith Walk.
The show will be an English-language version of a huge hit from Spain about a theatre company besotted with Paris who set out to be Gibraltar’s answer to the Moulin Rouge.
The Festival will also be staging the complete works of Irish playwright JM Synge and will give people three chances to see all six of his plays in a single day.
Swan Lake, touted as the pick of the dance programme, will see choreographer Wheeldon, who had a huge hit with the San Francisco Ballet Company two years ago, team up with Pennsylvania Ballet and the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra of Moscow Radio.
The return of Scottish Ballet to the Festival after a 20-year absence will see the company team up with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra to perform three works by George Balanchine, while Dutch National Ballet will be joining forces with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra for a three-night run.
In the musical programme, the big attractions are expected to include the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra’s appearances with conductor Nott, and the opening gala on August 14 with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, who will perform Verdi’s Requiem.
The Bank of Scotland Fireworks Concert, which brings the city’s season of summer festivals to an end, will be held on a Sunday night for the second year in a row.
Festival director Brian McMaster said: "The Festival exists to provide unique and world-class experiences for audiences from Scotland and around the world.
"Commissioning and creating our own work, and bringing together international artists and companies to work in new ways, ensures that the Festival remains the essential destination for everyone interested in the arts, whether from Tokyo, Los Angeles, or just around the corner."
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Wednesday 19 June 2013
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