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Edinburgh International Festival 2021 - programme cover

Edinburgh International Festival 2021

Posted 8 Jun 2021

It is a great relief to all followers of opera in Scotland that the 2021 Festival has been announced. Clearly, a degree of imagination has been applied in order to produce events of an appropriate standard.

Only one operatic staging will take place in the Festival Theatre. That is Scottish Opera's new production by Sir David McVicar of Verdi's Falstaff, with Stuart Stratford conducting a cast led by Roland Wood and Elizabeth Llewellyn.  It opens first for an open-air run in July, outside Scottish Opera's production studios.

Most of the musical events, orchestral concerts as well as opera, will be played in a new venue, the Edinburgh Academy Junior School at 10 Arboretum Road.

The most familiarly operatic of these is the Festival climax - three strongly-cast concert performances of Ariadne auf Naxos with the RSNO under Lothar Koenigs. Catriona Morison, Dorothea Röschmann ans David Butt Philip lead the cast.

A new work by Errollyn Wallen, Dido's Ghost, sounds fascinating. Purcell's familiar masterpiece, Dido and Aeneas, is incorporated into a new piece, in which the subsequent activities of Aeneas and others are explored.  The cast is led by the new star singer from South Africa, Golda Schultz.

A complete contrast takes the form of A Grand Night for Singing. This compilation of songs from the greatest Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals, is supported by a new plot and a superb cast of singing actors, including Kim Criswell and Danielle de Niese.

Stravinsky's Soldier's Tale is performed by a group of virtuosi led by Nicola Benedetti.  This has only featured at previous festivals in 1967 and 1986.  There is also a concert of baroque arias by Joyce DiDonato with Il Pomo d'Oro.

Star singers giving hour-long recitals in Old College Quad include Renée Fleming, Gerald Finley and Fatma Said.  Bass-baritone Thomas Quasthoff gives a public masterclass with a pair of selected young singers.

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