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New World theme for Edinburgh International Festival 2010 | reviews, news & interviews

New World theme for Edinburgh International Festival 2010

New World theme for Edinburgh International Festival 2010

Festival opens 13 August, closes on 5 September - on a theme of Americas and Australasia

Jonathan Mills has announced the programme for Edinburgh International Festival 2010, on a theme of modern culture in the New Worlds of the Americas and Australasia.

Ranging from California to Canberra, New York to New Zealand, from Santiago to Samoa, the festival opens on Friday 13 August with John Adams' oratorio El Niño and closes on Sunday 5 September with the traditional fireworks concert.

World premieres include political writer Alistair Beaton’s exploration of Scotland’s futile attempt at establishing a colony in Panama, Caledonia, directed by Anthony Neilson and co-produced by the Festival and the National Theatre of Scotland, and flamenco dance work Quimeras from Paco Peña Flamenco Dance Company. Peter Carey’s novel Bliss is the inspiration for a new Australian opera by Brett Dean, to be performed by Opera Australia in its European premiere. George Gershwin’s opera Porgy and Bess is updated in a multimedia production by Opéra de Lyon and the hip-hop and contemporary dance Compagnie Montalvo-Hervieu.

Other attractions include Lee Breuer and Bob Telson’s music theatre extravaganza The Gospel at Colonus with the Festival debuts of The Blind Boys of Alabama and The Abyssinian Chancel Choir from Harlem. New York is represented by a world premiere from New York theatre company Elevator Repair Service, a new play from The Wooster Group and the Festival debut of Meredith Monk; from South America Teatro Cinema and Teatro en el Blanco offer innovative and cinematic theatre from Chile.

In a dance programme which features Brazil, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, flamenco and the late Pina Bausch’s tropical Água, the Festival also brings San Francisco-based Alonzo King Lines Ballet to the UK for the first time.

Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, The Cleveland Orchestra, Russian National Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra perform in The Usher Hall under conductors including Mariss Jansons, Mikhail Pletnev, .

Popular American music, jazz, features in 2010, bringing the Festival debuts of the legendary classical and jazz musician Gunther Schuller, and saxophonists Joe Lovano and Tommy Smith.

Jonathan Mills, Edinburgh International Festival Director, said, ‘This year the Festival takes us on a journey around the contemporary cultures of the Americas and Australasia. We have shifted our centre of gravity from Europe towards these intriguing and complex continents. As these diverse cultures, separated by vast oceans, converge in Edinburgh.”

Principal grants and sponsorship from the Scottish Arts Council and The City of Edinburgh Council, The Scottish Government’s Expo Fund, Visiting Arts, the Dunard Fund USA and Léan Scully EIF Fund. Major donations from American Friends of the Edinburgh International Festival, Edinburgh International Festival Benefactors and Edinburgh International Festival Friends and Patrons

  • Public booking opens Saturday 27 March on and phone 0131 473 2000

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