New Horizons at EIF 2016

When Fergus Linehan took over as Edinburgh International Festival Director in 2015, it was the start of a new era. Building on excellent foundations, Fergus has put together a wide-ranging and exciting programme for 2016 in which 2,442 artists from 36 nations will perform between Friday 5 August and Monday 29 August.

This year’s launch programme was introduced by the Director using ‘new technology’ with artists on screen beside him at the Festival Theatre – a most interesting and, indeed refreshing, way of giving us a taste of things to come.

A special concert series will celebrate Scottish contemporary music, from post-punk to post-rock, art-school pop, traditional and modern electronic and hip hop. This new series is designed to ‘shine a light on the unique character of modern Scottish music’.

NormaOpera this year concentrates on two high-quality productions, ‘Norma’ (pictured), written by Bellini from the Salzburg Festspiele and Mozart’s ‘Cosi Fan Tutte’ from the Festival d’Aix en Provence. In theatre, Tenesee Williams’s The Glass Menagerie promises to be a stunning production, already described on Broadway as the most revealing revival of a cornerstone classic. The 400 year anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare (who, incidentally, died on the same day in the calendar as when he was born) is marked by productions spanning the whole programme.

For the second year the acclaimed Harmonium Project, in partnership with the University of Edinburgh and the Castle, will take place at 10 30 pm on Sunday 7 August. This is a dramatic outdoor lighting project, free to the public although tickets will be required. This will be produced by 59 Productions and will explore the iconic location of the Castle and Castle rock using digitally animated art work depicting 350 million years of history. It will also celebrate the intellectual legacy of the city – in particular the ‘Father of the Enlightenment’ by James Hutton.

Young people and families are catered for with dance, storytelling and interactive animation. This year also includes the Edinburgh International Culture Summit, which is a biennial event and highlights the value Culture plays in the life of any successful community. Music at the Queen’s Hall features again and the Schools projects are all part of the development.

alancummingIn another new departure, the Hub, headquarters of the EIF, will play host nightly to a show hosted by Scottish stage and screen star Alan Cumming. He will himself be singing in the production (pictured).

All booking details and information may be obtained from the Edinburgh International Festival, The Hub, Castlehill, Edinburgh, EH1 2NE, telephone 0131 473 2056.


Heading image of Anything That Gives Off Light is credited to Simon Murphy


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Christine Richard OBE FRSA Christine has over 25 years' experience in public life in Scotland in the fields of politics, education, public relations and charity work. For 12 years she served on the City of Edinburgh District Council and was her Group's leader for 4 years. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. In 1992 she was made an OBE. Christine is a member of the Board of The Friends of the Royal Scottish Academy. She has just completed six years on the Board of The Edinburgh International Festival. Christine's business experience has covered the fields of theatre, economic development, science, coal mining, education and training. She has held a number of non-executive directorships in these disciplines. She is a trained and experienced personal relationships counsellor and a business and personal mentor. In 2005 Christine established Christine Richard Associates who undertake Event Management and Public Relations as well as company and individual profiling. She coordinated the 'Yes to Edinburgh' campaign on congestion charging in Edinburgh. ten years ago Christine co-founded West Lothian Women in Business, which is a network for women who are self-employed and also for women managers. Christine has now stepped down from the Chair of this thriving organisation. For 5 years Christine was a magistrate in the District Court. She was also a member of the Secretary of State's Advisory Committee on the appointment of Justices of the Peace. She has been an adviser to Government in various areas of policy, including health, local government and education. Christine is a trained and experienced radio and television broadcaster and writer as well as an entertaining and accomplished speaker. She has a wealth of topics on which she is invited to speak. These range from witty after lunch and after dinner speaking to the more serious topics of the economy, health, education, enterprise, the Powers of the Mind and Life/work balance. She writes reviews and articles for lifestyle magazine, Lothian Life. She took part as a contestant in an ITV gourmet TV show, Chef V Britain, challenging TV chef Gino D'Acampo to cook her signature dish, Posh Cottage Pie. Currently Christine is a member of the Goodison Group in Scotland and Scotland's Futures. Also she is involved in the group Changing the Chemistry of Scottish Boards. Her first novel, Whitewalls, a modern Scottish family saga has been published by New Generation Publishing and is available on all internet books siets and from libraries. She is writing a sequel Autumn at Whitewalls. Her leisure interests include her family, literature, music, theatre, food, wine and horse racing. She is a member of a racing syndicate, which has two horses in training.

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