Almost 3,000 artists from 47 countries will perform at the festival, which will this year celebrate a partnership with the Olympic Games.
Launching the festival today, director Jonathan Mills said: “Every year since 1947 we have set out to create an event to inspire and uplift audiences.
In the words of Sir John Falconer, Lord Provost of Edinburgh at the time, the Festival exists to “provide a platform for the flowering of the human spirit”. In hard times as well as good the Festival remains one of the world’s most important examples of the power of culture and the arts to transform individual ambitions and lives.”
A new addition to the festival in 2012 sees the Royal Highland Centre’s Lowland Hall converted into a theatrical space housing three productions which cannot be staged in conventional theatres, including a multi-media version of Macbeth set in the Middle East, 2008: Macbeth Other highlights this year include Tadashi Suzuki’s version of Electra and Dmitry Krymov’s brand new production titled A Midsummer Night’s Dream (As You Like It). There will also be an International Culture Summit which will run over the two days following the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games, Monday 13 and Tuesday 14 August.
Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, said: “The Edinburgh International Festival is always a wonderful platform to showcase Scotland’s fantastic culture, exceptional talent and our reputation as a creative nation to audiences from around the globe.”
The festival runs from August 9 to September 2.