Fergus Linehan, Edinburgh International Festival’s new Director has unveiled a dazzling menu of events for this year, covering Drama, Music, Ballet, discussions and something entirely new, The Harmonium Project.
This Project is a very ambitious and huge sound and light spectacular, created by 59 Productions and using technology from the University of Edinburgh. The production combines technology and art. On the opening night, 7 August at 10.30 pm, a specially made recording of John Adams’s choral work, Harmonium, will be relayed across Festival Square. It will be conducted by Peter Oundjun, with animated graphics on the science of singing projected onto the outside of the Usher Hall. The event will be free.
Arguably the most ambitious project will be the world premiere of a new stage production of Alistair Gray’s novel ‘Lanark’. It is a joint project with the Citizens’ Theatre in Glasgow and also celebrates Gray’s 80th birthday. It has been arranged by David Gray and directed by Graham Eatough. This Project will be funded by the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Expo Fund with Â£200,000 of investment.
There will, of course,Â be so much more for Festival goers: Antigone, at the King’s Theatre starring Julie Binoche, in Anne Casson’s translation of the tragedy is another world premiere. There will also be a new production of ‘The Last Hotel’ staged by Landmark Productions and Wide Open Opera.
As ever we will be able to enjoy The Queen’s Hall series of music – many concerts in the morning and a few in the evenings. In opera there is Mozart ‘s The Marriage of Figaro, at the Festival Theatre, as well as his famous Magic Flute.
The Edinburgh Festival Chorus will celebrate its 50th Anniversary at the opening concert at the Usher Hall on Saturday 8th August which will feature works by Brahms and Strauss.
Donald Runnicles will conduct the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
The Usher Hall will also be the venue for a number of concerts ranging from acclaimed Chinese pianist, Lang Lang’, the soloist in Bartok’s second piano concerto. In contrast this will also be the venue for HMS Pinafore performed by Scottish Opera and a concert performance of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons with violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter. The Edinburgh Playhouse will have a double bill of Ballet Zurich and Ballet Rhein. New this year will be a Family Concert the day before the Virgin Money Fireworks Concert which ends the Festival.
This isÂ the first Festival under new director, Fergus Linehan. Previous roles saw this Irishman head up the Sydney and Dublin Theatre Festivals as well as Vivid Life. At the launch, Fergus said: ‘I believe that being in Edinburgh in August opens your mind and makes you more thoughtful, more generous and more connected. Edinburgh in festival season has the power to leave you changed and changed for the better.’
Edinburgh Council is a principal funder along with Creative Scotland. The Council has just appointed Councillor Richard I Lewis to be the new Festival and Events champion.
Janet Archer, the Chief Executive of Creative Scotland said at the launch: ‘We are delighted to continue our support of the Edinburgh International Festival and congratulate Fergus Linehan on the unveiling of his magnificent first programme. It offers moments for contemplation and moments that will take your breath away.’
As well as public sector funders there is an impressive number of corporate bodies, international agencies and individuals and trust which help enormously to fund successive Festivals.
Tickets go on sale on 28 March 2015 at the Festival Headquarters, The Hub at Castlehill.
Enquiries to 0131 473 2000 (there is a 50% discount for young ticket buyers (18 or under, or 26 or under if in full-time education)
Website: Â www.eif.co.uk