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Edinburgh International Festival 2011 | reviews, news & interviews

Edinburgh International Festival 2011

Edinburgh International Festival 2011

Full listings of the festival, which runs from 12 August to 4 September

The 2011 Edinburgh International Festival, running 12 August-4 September, has been announced, on a theme of the Far East and the Far West. Offerings  include the National Ballet of China, Korean and Vietnamese contemporary dance, traditional Indian music from Ravi Shankar, Japanese photography, a Mandarin King Lear, a Peking Opera Hamlet, a Korean The Tempest, and plentiful Asian composers and performers in classical-music programmes.

World names appearing include Martha Argerich, Magdalena Kozená, Simon Keenlyside, Charles Dutoit with the Philadelphia Orchestra, René Jacobs, Murray Perahia, the Philip Glass Ensemble and Valery Gergiev conducting the Mariinsky Opera in Strauss's Die Frau ohne Schatten.

Radio 3 will record 19 concerts for broadcast (marked in the list below BBC R3). Cheaper tickets costing as little as £8 for younger and older audience members and a plenitude of signed and described events for the hard of hearing or hard of sight are aimed at widening access to events.




Peony_Pavilion13-15 Aug, The Peony Pavilion, National Ballet of China, Festival Theatre. European Premiere of a full-scale modern ballet production of the Orpheus-like myth of beautiful Du Liniang, who seeks her dream lover in the Underworld. Choreography fuses classical ballet and traditional Chinese dance.

19-21 Aug, Princess Bari, Eun-Me Ahn Company, Playhouse. Contemporary Korean choreographer fuses traditional art forms, opulent costumes and new dance to tell a tale about a baby princess thrown out by her family for being a girl, who searches to be reconciled with her father, the King, before he dies. (Please note this show contains partial nudity.)

Scottish_Ballet26-28 Aug, Scottish Ballet, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Playhouse. New work by Jorma Elo to music by Mozart and Steve Reich/ MacMillan’s Song of the Earth (to Mahler). Playhouse. A strongly music-driven ballet double bill, conducted by Sian Edwards, with singers Katarina Karnéus and Peter Wedd.

26, 27 & 29 Aug, Śriyah, The Nrityagram Dance Ensemble, King’s Theatre. A classical Indian dance evening.

1-3 Sep, Ea Sola, Drought and Rain (re-creation 2011), King’s Theatre. French-Vietnamese choreographer Ea Sola directs a group of elderly village women and an ensemble of traditional musicians.

1-3 Sep, Shen Wei Dance Arts, Re-Triptych, Playhouse. Tibet, Angkor Wat and China’s Silk Road are the inspiration behind this trilogy from New York-based Chinese choreographer Shen Wei.



13-16 Aug, Miowha Repertory Company, The Tempest, King’s Theatre. TaeSuk Oh adapts and directs a Korean version of Shakespeare set with much live music in fifth-century Korea and drawing on a piece of ancient Korean history. (Performed in Korean with English supertitles.)

King_LEar_Taiwan13-16 Aug, Contemporary Legend Theatre, King Lear, Royal Lyceum Theatre. Taiwanese actor Wu Hsing-kuo adapts Shakespeare’s tragedy into the style of Chinese Peking opera in a one-man performance. (Performed in Mandarin with English supertitles.)

20-24 Aug, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, King’s Theatre. World premiere of a Japanese-UK stage adaptation of Haruki Murakami’s detective novel about a man whose wife vanishes, directed by former Miramax Films production director Stephen Earnhart. (Performed in English and Japanese with English supertitles.)

ARabian_nights23 Aug-3 Sep, One Thousand and One Nights, Royal Lyceum Theatre. Directed by Tim Supple, this compendium of stories from the Arabian Nights stretches over two separate three-hour programmes involving actors and musicians from Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Paris and London. Sheherazade saves herself from the King’s order of death by telling cliffhanging tales each night. Part 1: 21, 23, 25, 27, 28, 30, 31 Aug, 2, 3 Sept. Part 2: 21, 24, 26, 27, 28, 31 Aug, 1, 2, 3 Sep. Parts 1 + 2: 21, 27, 28, 31 Aug, 2, 3 Sep.



18 Aug, CONCERT PERFORMANCE Massenet’s Thaïs, Usher Hall. Sir Andrew Davis conducts Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Festival Chorus in Massenet’s opera about a monk’s love for a prostitute, demanding virtuoso soprano and baritone leads. Erin Wall and Quinn Kelsey take the main roles.

Revenge_of_Prince_Zi_Dun_19 & 20 Aug, Shanghai Peking Opera Troupe, The Revenge of Prince Zi Dan, Festival Theatre. Chinese translation of Hamlet into Peking Opera style, with lavishly costumed dance, singing, mime and martial arts, accompanied by an orchestra playing traditional Chinese instruments. (Sung in Mandarin with English supertitles.)

25 Aug, CONCERT PERFORMANCE Haydn’s Orlando Paladino, Usher Hall. René Jacobs conducts the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra in Haydn’s story of love, jealousy and magic in the medieval Mediterranean. Stéphane Degout leads the cast.

25 & 27 Aug, Vlaamse Opera, Rossini’s Semiramide, Festival Theatre. A Danish production directed and designed by Nigel Lowery of Rossini’s opera of politics and murder based on Voltaire, conducted by Rossini specialist Alberto Zedda.

Die_Frau_ohne_Schatten1, 2 & 3 Sep, Mariinsky Opera, Strauss’s Die Frau ohne Schatten, Festival Theatre. Valery Gergiev conducts, Jonathan Kent directs and Paul Brown designs the acclaimed Mariinsky production of “The Woman without a Shadow”, about an unhappy wife who sacrifices her shadow for a happier life.



12 Aug, Schumann’s Das Paradies und die Peri, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, c Sir Roger Norrington, Usher Hall. A Persian myth inspired Schumann’s exotic, secular oratorio, about a fairy set a test to enter Paradise - the blood of martyrs is not enough, only a repentant tear will do. (BBC R3)

13 Aug, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, c Ilan Volkov, Usher Hall. Programme - IRCAM, Jonathan Harvey

13 Aug, Bo Skovhus (baritone), Stefan Vladar (piano), Queen’s Hall. Mahler songs.

Philip_Glass_films13, 14 & 15 Aug, Philip Glass Ensemble, The Qatsi Trilogy, Playhouse. Music and film, with Glass’s music performed live to three visionary films by Godfrey Reggio - which he describes as “concert cinema” - Koyaanisqatsi (1983), Powaqqatsi (1987) and Naqoyqatsi (2002).

Martha_Argerich14 Aug, Martha Argerich & Nelson Goerner (pianos), Usher Hall. Piano duos by Mozart, Rachmaninov, Schubert, Ravel (BBC R3)

15 Aug, The Sixteen, c Harry Christophers, Usher Hall. Handel (with Rosemary Joshua)

15 Aug, Melvyn Tan (piano), Queen’s Hall. Scarlatti, Cage

16 & 17 Aug, Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, c Kent Nagano, Usher Hall. Debussy/ Tan Dun/ Beethoven & Takemitsu/ Mahler/ Stravinsky (with Waltraud Meier)

16 Aug, Xuefei Yang (guitar), Queen’s Hall. Eastern and Western guitar music, including Rodrigo, de Falla, Huiran Wang, Tarrega and Takemitsu

17 Aug, T’ang Quartet, Queen’s Hall. Eastern and Western quartets by Schubert, Barber, Aulis Sallinen, Bright Sheng

18 Aug, Soloists of the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Queen’s Hall. Ravel, Unsuk Chin, Schubert

19 Aug, Angelika Kirchschlager (mezzo), Helmut Deutsch (piano), Queen’s Hall. Brahms, Schubert, Mozart songs.

Simon_Keenlyside19 Aug, Simon Keenlyside (baritone), Malcolm Martineau (piano), Usher Hall. Mahler, Strauss, Schubert, Duparc, Debussy (BBC R3)

19-21 Aug, Yoghakarta Court Gamelan, The Hub. Javanese Gamelan music, costumed in traditional style.

20 Aug, Magdalena Kožená (mezzo soprano), Yefim Bronfman (piano), Usher Hall. Musorgsky, Shostakovich, Ravel, Rachmaninov, Bartók (BBC R3)

20 Aug, Belcea Quartet, Queen’s Hall. Haydn, Mark-Anthony Turnage, Beethoven (BBC R3)

21 Aug, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, c Robin Ticciati, Magdalena Kožená (mezzo), Simon Keenlyside (baritone), Usher Hall. Ravel, Toshio Hosokawa Blossoming (EIF commission, World Premiere), Duruflé.

Ravi_Shankar22 Aug, Ravi Shankar, Usher Hall. Evening Ragas for ceremonies and rituals.

22 Aug, Sophie Koch (mezzo), Sophie Raynaud (piano), Queen’s Hall. Includes Debussy, Duparc, Liszt, Schumann.

23 Aug, Philharmonia Orchestra, c Esa-Pekka Salonen, Kelley O’Connor (mezzo soprano), Usher Hall. Scriabin, Ravel, Stravinsky.

23 Aug, Antje Weithaas (violin), Tanya Tetzlaff (cello), Steven Osborne (piano), Queen’s Hall. Trio of leading soloists play Ravel (BBC R3)

24 Aug, Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, c Myung-Whun Chung, Usher Hall. Messiaen, Unsuk Chin, Tchaikovsky.

24 Aug, Amjad Ali Khan (sarod), Queen’s Hall. Morning ragas of Indian traditional music.

25 Aug, Christoph Prégardien (tenor), Julian Prégardien (tenor), Michael Gees (piano), Queen’s Hall. Father and son tenors sing duets and solo songs by Schumann, Brahms, Mozart and Schubert (BBC R3)

26 Aug, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, c Vladimir Jurowski, Alina Ibragimova (violin), Kim Begley (tenor), Usher Hall. Weber, Mendelssohn, Liszt.

26 Aug, Olli Mustonen (piano), Queen’s Hall. Schumann, Scriabin, Shchedrin, Martinú.

27 Aug, Academy of St Martin in the Fields, c & pianist Murray Perahia, Usher Hall. Ries, Beethoven, Schubert.

27, 28 & 29 Aug, The Legendary Music of Rajasthan, National Museum of Scotland. Lakha Khan, Bhanwari Devi, Kadar Khan.

27 Aug, Kopelman Quartet, Queen’s Hall. Borodin, Prokofiev, Shostakovich.

runnicles_mahler28 Aug, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, c Donald Runnicles, Meagan Miller (soprano), Karen Cargill (mezzo), Festival Chorus, Usher Hall. Mahler 2 (BBC R3)

29 Aug, Tonhalle Orchestra, c David Zinman, Maria João Pires (piano), Usher Hall. Anders Hillborg, Mozart, Dvořák.

29 Aug, Jean-Guihen Queyran (cello), Alexandre Tharaud (piano), Queen’s Hall. Debussy, Kodály, Marais, Poulenc.

30 & 31 Aug, Philadelphia Orchestra, c Charles Dutoit, Usher Hall. Stravinsky/ Ravel/ Rachmaninov & Sibelius/ Tchaikovsky/ Berlioz (with Janine Jansen, violin).

30 Aug, Alexandre Tharaud (piano), Queen’s Hall. Couperin, Satie, Ravel, Gérard Pesson, Debussy.

31 Aug, Chanticleer, Queen’s Hall. Spanish Renaissance music, Richard Strauss and American composers arranged for male voice choir.

1 Sep, Karita Mattila (soprano), Malcolm Martineau (piano), Usher Hall. Includes Debussy, Sibelius, Brahms, Berg, R Strauss. (BBC R3)

1 Sep, Arditti Quartet, Queen’s Hall. Toshio Hosokawa, Dai Fujikura, Takemitsu, Ravel.

1 Sep (LATE), Soloists from Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, c Ainars Rubikis, Usher Hall. Chamber arrangement of Mahler 4

2 & 3 Sep, Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, c Jonathan Nott, Pierre-Laurent Aimard (piano), Usher Hall. Messiaen/ Bartók & all-Ravel (BBC R3).

Diana_Damrau2 Sep, Diana Damrau (soprano), Xavier de Maistre (harp), Queen’s Hall. Debussy, Fauré, Chausson, Duparc, R Strauss. (BBC R3)

3 Sep, Yundi (piano), Queen’s Hall. Chinese pianist makes festival debut with Chopin programme. (BBC R3)

4 Sep, Fireworks Concert, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Princes Street Gardens. Traditional closing night, sponsored this year by Virgin Money, with fireworks choreographed by Pyrovision




Vis_arts_Sugimoto4 Aug-18 Sep, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. Japanese art photographer’s series Lightning Fields and Photogenic Drawings. Complimentary exhibition: Towards the Light, colour woodcuts from Britain and Japan.

4 Aug-4 Sep, Heirlooms, Dovecot Studios. Indian and Javanese textile traditions and their influence on Scottish textile artists.

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