Tickets for the Edinburgh International Festival go on sale on April 16, with this year’s festival-goers promised one of the most diverse line-ups in the event’s history.
The event programme was unveiled by Festival Director Fergus Linehan and will see 2,442 artists from 36 nations performing between August 5 and 29.
The start of city’s festival season will be celebrated with a free, public outdoor event on Sunday August 7 entitled Deep Time; a digitally animated artwork using the iconic locations of Edinburgh Castle and Castle Rock as the 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’.
Set to a specially compiled soundtrack of music by Scottish rock band Mogwai and produced by Tony Award-winning 59 Productions, creators of the acclaimed Harmonium Project that launched the 2015 Festival, Deep Time will employ cutting-edge 3D animation and projection techniques that the organisers say will offer a unique visual spectacle.
World class music
Other festival highlights of the festival will include major productions from two of the world’s leading opera festivals, Salzburg Festpiele and Festival d’Aix en Provence, as well as 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
A number of major classical music artists will also be performing, with Sir András Schiff, Maxim Vengerov, Daniil Trifonov, Mikhail Pletnev, Anja Kampe, Karen Cargill and Sir John Eliot Gardner all taking to the stage.
On the theatrical stage, celebrated director John Tiffany makes his return to Scotland with the European premiere of his Broadway production of Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie, while the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare will also be marked with a number of events across the programme, including international re-imaginings of his plays.
As always, established and up-and-coming Scottish artists will be taking centre stage in a series of concerts celebrating contemporary Scottish music, including Edinburgh’s own Mercury Prize winners Young Fathers.
The Hub will also be playing host to a nightly house show hosted by Scottish stage and screen star Alan Cumming, with several events also aimed at families and young people, including dance theatre works.
The festival will be brought to a close on Monday August 29 with the Virgin Money Fireworks Concert, as over 400,000 fireworks burst into the sky above Edinburgh Castle, choreographed to live music from the Scottish Chamber Orchestra with Estonian conductor Kristiina Poska.
The 2,442 artists taking part in the Edinburgh International Festival 2016 will include several acclaimed acts making their first ever appearance at the event, as Cecilia Bartoli, Youssou N’Dour, James Thierrée and Barry Humphries all make their debuts
In his second year as festival director, Linehan said the 2016 line-up will feature a rich mix of world-class artists and ensembles from across the performing arts, alongside a “superb showcase” of Scottish-based talent.
“The 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,” he explained.
“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 festival veterans alike.”
Tickets for all events at the Edinburgh International Festival go on sale on Saturday April 16 at 10am, with more information available at http://www.eif.co.uk/2016.