The 2016 Edinburgh International Festival from Friday 5 to Monday 29 August, welcoming 2,442 artists from 36 nations to perform in Scotland’s capital city.
Festival Director Fergus Linehan said: ‘The International Festival is an invitation from the people of Scotland to people from all over the world to join us in an unparalleled celebration of creativity, virtuosity and originality. 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.’
• Some of the world’s greatest artists and ensembles perform at the International Festival in 2016
• Artists making their first appearance at the International Festival 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
• 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
In his second International Festival programme, Linehan has brought together a rich mix of world-class artists and ensembles from across the performing arts, alongside a superb showcase of Scottish-based talent.
Major artists appearing in the programme include renowned Italian mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli, legendary Australian satirist Barry Humphries, revered conductor Herbert Blomstedt, Oscar-nominated singer ANOHNI, world-renowned ballerina Natalia Osipova, celebrated director John Tiffany, UK ensemble Cheek by Jowl, post-rock icons Sigur Rós, celebrated Scottish actor Alan Cumming, 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.
Photo: Young Fathers
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. 59 Productions will employ cutting edge 3d animation and projection techniques to create the event, and also work in partnership with the University of Edinburgh, with academics from across the science, arts and humanities faculties contributing. The event is free but ticketed, with full event and booking details released on 20 June.
Fergus 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.’