International Festival launches 2016 programme

Edinburgh International Festival has launched its full programme for August 2016, with major names including Cecilia Bartoli, Youssou N’Dour, James Thierrée, Sir András Schiff, Maxim Vengerov and celebrated Black Watch director John Tiffany

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The Festival runs from 5-29 August 2016, and will also feature post-rock icons Sigur Rós, Edinburgh's own Mercury Prize winners Young Fathers, Glasgow's Mogwai, legendary Australian satirist Barry Humphries and a nightly show by Scottish star Alan Cumming

In the 69th Edinburgh International Festival, almost 2,500 artists from 36 nations will perform, as part of director Fergus Linehan's second Festival programme.

Mr Linehan said: 

The International 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.  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 International Festival veterans alike.

Opera features strongly, with major productions from two of the world's leading opera festivals, Salzburg Festpiele (Norma) and Festival d’Aix en Provence (Cosi fan tutte).

In dance Edinburgh's stages will witness the likes of Natalia Osipova, performing three new and specially created dance pieces, The Holy Body Tattoo dance company, accompanied by Godspeed You! Black Emperor, and Scottish Ballet performing pieces by Angelin Preljocaj and Crystal Pite.

Fans of classical music will get the chance to experience world leading orchestras such as Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and the Russian National Orchestra

And, beyond Mogwai, Sigur Rós and Young Fathers, contemporary music is further represented with performances from Emma Pollock, Hudson Mohawke, Karine Polwart, members of Lau, Portishead, The Unthanks and more. 

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The start of the International Festival will be marked on Sunday 7 August with Deep Time, a free, public outdoor event featuring music by Mogwai, and digital animation projected onto Edinburgh Castle and the Castle Rock. Deep Time is produced by 59 Productions, award winning creators of 2015's acclaimed Harmonium Project.

Naming the company as Associate Artists of the Festival for the next 3 years, Mr Linehan added: 

59 Productions have, time and again, created innovative and compelling work in the fields of music, theatre, opera, film and visual arts while pioneering the use of new technologies. We are delighted to be working with such a remarkable group of artists over the next three years. 

The Festival will mark the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare's death with a range of work including renowned theatre maker Thomas Ostermeier reworking Richard III, Cheek by Jowl joining Moscow’s Pushkin Theatre to present Measure for Measure, and French-based company Eat a Crocodile delivering a re-imagining of Twelfth Night in Shake

Leonie Bell, Director of Arts at Creative Scotland said: 

The 2016 programme for the Edinburgh International Festival is an exciting mix of the classical and the contemporary, when artists and audiences from Scotland and the world will come together across venues and sites throughout Edinburgh to share in a magnificent 3 weeks, filled with dance, music, opera and theatre. 

The Festival will conclude with the famous Virgin Money Fireworks Concert, with over 400,000 fireworks choreographed with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra's performances of Prokofiev and Bernstein

Edinburgh International Festival takes place from Friday 5 to Monday 29 August. Tickets will go on public sale on Saturday 16 April on 10am (priority booking from Wednesday 6 April). Find out more about the Festival, including programme and ticket booking details on our festival page.

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