Edinburgh International Festival announces first 2016 production

The Edinburgh International Festival has revealed the first production of its 2016 programme - the Salzburg Festival’s internationally acclaimed production of Bellini’s Norma.

[Update Feb 2016 - more events announced]


Starring world renowned mezzo soprano Cecilia Bartoli in the title role, Patrice Caurier’s and Moshe Leiser’s staging of Norma will open the Festival’s opera programme with three performances at the Festival Theatre from 5 to 9 August 2016

Cecilia Bartoli said:  

It is a joy to be making my opera debut at the prestigious Edinburgh International Festival with these performances of Norma.  I look forward to sharing our new vision of Bellini’s masterpiece with the Festival public.  It is a role that represents a milestone in my career and a production that is very dear to my heart.  

Tickets go on sale next week, ahead of the full Festival programme launch which will take place in April 2016. 

Bartoli leads a stellar cast including John Osborn, as Pollione, who sang in the Festival 2014 concert performance of William Tell with Teatro Regio Torino; Rebeca Olvera as Adalgisa and Péter Kálmán as Oroveso. Diego Fasolis conducts the I Barocchisti orchestra on period instruments, as well as the Swiss Radio and Television Chorus, Lugano.

The production premiered to international acclaim at the Salzburg Whitsun Festival in May 2013, later winning ‘Best New Production of 2013’ at the International Opera Awards. It was revived by the summer Salzburg Festival in 2015 and is now on a European tour, of which the Edinburgh performances mark the first time it will have been seen in the UK. 


The production sets the story in occupied France during the Second World War, pitting members of the Résistance against the troops of the military administration. It uses a new critical edition by Maurizio Biondi and Riccardo Minasi based on the autograph score, which restores Bellini’s original tempi, dynamics and phrasing. 

Fergus Linehan, Festival Director added:  

We are thrilled to bring this remarkable reworking of Norma to Edinburgh where it can be enjoyed by opera fans in the UK for the first time, as well as marking the Festival debut of Cecilia Bartoli. We look forward to welcoming Ms Bartoli and the Norma company to the 2016 Festival with this landmark production. 

Councillor Richard Lewis, the City of Edinburgh Council’s Festivals and Events Champion, said: 

This announcement is just one glimpse into the Edinburgh International Festival’s 2016 programme and suggests another thrilling year is in store for classical music fans. Mezzo soprano Cecilia Bartoli is one of the world's greatest and most versatile opera performers, and in the title role from Bellini’s Norma, the Festival Theatre performances will be her Edinburgh debut.

Tickets for Norma are available as follows:

  • Benefactor and Platinum Reserve: 11 November at 10am
  • Platinum Supporter: 12 November at 10am
  • Platinum Patron and Patron: 13 November at 10am
  • Principal Friend and Priority Friend: 14 November at 10am
  • Public sale: 21 November at 10am

Members of the public can sign up now to become a Friend, Patron or Benefactor of the Festival and gain access to tickets earlier through priority booking.

Edinburgh International Festival will run from 5 - 29 August 2016. The full festival programme will be announced on 6 April 2016. 

For ticketing and information links, please visit our EIF page.

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