John Adams and Lee Breuer among Edinburgh International Festival 2010 highlights

This article is from 2010

Edinburgh International Festival 2010 highlights

The Wooster Group - Vieux Carre

As the programme is launched for this year’s Edinburgh International Festival, we cast an eye over the highlights

Spirit and ambition: just two of the words used by EIF director Jonathan Mills to describe this year’s festival programme. Boasting a large contingent from the opposite side of the globe, as well as a roster of home-grown talent, this year’s line-up welcomes theatre from North, South and Central America, dance from the Pacific Rim and opera from Australia and Central America.

In theatre, Elevator Repair Service present a world premiere of Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, the tale of young Americans journeying across Europe looking for redemption; closer to home, the National Theatre of Scotland showcases Alistair Beaton’s Caledonia directed by Anthony Neilson. Other highlights include Vieux Carre from EIF favourites The Wooster Group (pictured) and the welcome return of Lee Breuer with The Gospel at Colonus.

As part of the opera strand, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess will be sung in English in a multi-media production by the Opera de Lyon while The Orchestra of Scottish Opera will present Puccini’s La fanciulla del West (The Girl of the Golden West). In dance, prepare yourself for Tempest Without a Body from Mau, with choreography from Samoan Lemi Ponifasio, as well as the marvellous Alonzo King Lines Ballet, who will present two pieces.

Across at the Queen’s Hall works from North and South American and Australasian composers will be played by some of Europe’s masters, including solo performances from Caracas-born Edicson Ruiz on the double bass and young up-and-comer Jonathan Biss on piano. Other highlights include violinist Midori who makes her festival debut with a programme of Beethoven, Brahms and more – look out to for her collaboration with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, also on the programme. A concert of John Adams’ El Nino opens proceedings.

See our full listings for the Edinburgh International Festival.

EIF runs from 13 Aug–5 Sep,

Alonzo King Lines Ballet

In their UK debut, choreographer Alonzo King and his Lines Ballet from San Francisco bring a pair of works to the Festival which show the vulnerability and tenderness of his choreography alongside the furious abandon and exhilarating freedom of his company’s contemporary classical style. Sponsored by Lloyds TSB Scotland.

BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra

Stravinsky’s baroque-inspired Dumbarton Oaks is a celebration of the music and culture of New England, USA. Virtuoso violinist Midori performs Bernstein’s Serenade which the composer himself described as a ‘series of related statements in praise of love’. Dvořák’s lyrical New World Symphony was intended to celebrate the…


  • 4 stars

Caledonia is a new play by celebrated playwright and satirist Alistair Beaton on William Paterson, a financial adventurer who in 1698 devised one of the most daring and disastrous speculations of all time - to found a Scottish colony in Darien on the isthmus of Panama in Central America and turn Scotland, one of the…

Conversations: Alonzo King Lines Ballet

Choreographer Alonzo King, a distinctive voice in dance, talks about how he embraces a global perspective on stage. Supported by Gordon Fraser Charitable Trust.

Conversations: Caledonia

  • 4 stars

Writer Alistair Beaton and director Anthony Neilson talk about the extraordinary story of the Darien scheme, Scotland’s ill fated Central American colony, and its relevance today. Supported by Gordon Fraser Charitable Trust.

Conversations: Elevator Repair Service

  • 2 stars

John Collins and his company, specialists in adapting 20th century American literature for the stage, talk about the world premiere of their production of Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises. Supported by Gordon Fraser Charitable Trust

Edicson Ruiz, Sergio Tiempo

Just 25 years old, Edicson Ruiz is establishing his credentials as a master of the double bass. At just 17 Ruiz became the first Latin American, and youngest-ever, member of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Teaming up with Sergio Tiempo, he will have The Queen’s Hall moving to the South American rhythms of Ginastera and…

Jonathan Biss

Young American pianist Jonathan Biss opens The Queen’s Hall Series with Leon Kirchner’s Five Pieces, Schumann's Kreisleriana, Mozart's Adagio in B minor and Beethoven's Piano Sonata in F minor Op 57 ‘Appassionata’. Supported by The Inches Carr Trust.

La fanciulla del West (The Girl of the Golden West)

Puccini's fast moving tale of love, jealousy, gambling, banditry and violence and their effect on a tight knit community. Performance sung in Italian. Supported by The Stevenston Charitable Trust with additional support from The Italian Cultural Institute, Edinburgh.

Midori, Ozgur Aydin

Midori makes her Festival debut with a programme which juxtaposes two well known violin sonatas by Beethoven and Brahms with two 20th century works by Bloch and Davidovsky.

Opening Concert - El Niño

Conductor James Conlon leads a wonderful cast in the opening concert for Festival 2010. The miracle of the nativity is given a new life in John Adams' oratorio El Niño. Women's voices and experiences are central to the retelling of this story unusually told from a mother's perspective. Sponsored by Heineken UK.

Tempest: Without a Body

Part dance, part theatre, part ceremony, Tempest is an awe-inspiring reflection on our modern world from Samoan choreographer Lemi Ponifasio and his company MAU. This Shakespeare-inspired work explores timeless themes of political freedom and personal liberty. Supported by Visiting Arts.

The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess

  • 3 stars

The Gershwins' poignant tale of a decent, lonely man called Porgy and his love for the beautiful, bewitching Bess has become perhaps the quintessential American opera. In a new production for Opéra de Lyon, dynamic choreographers José Montalvo and Dominique Hervieu capture the essence of Porgy and Bess using…

The Gospel at Colonus

  • 3 stars

Gospel music, rock ‘n’ roll swagger, a dash of soul and syncopated style are at the heart of this uplifting spectacle by Lee Breuer and Bob Telson. Set in modern day America it is a radical reworking of Sophocles' tragedy Oedipus at Colonus. The wonderful traditions of gospel singing are centre stage and will have you…

The Sun Also Rises (The Select)

  • 2 stars

In this world premiere staging from acclaimed New York ensemble Elevator Repair Service, Hemingway’s first major novel follows a group of weary, aimless and frequently inebriated American expatriates searching for identity, redemption and diversion in Europe. Audio described performance Monday 16 August 7.30pm. Supported…

Vieux Carré

  • 3 stars

In this production, the New York-based Wooster Group forges a new mode of expression for Tennessee Williams' lyric voice. It tells the story of a young writer who makes his home amongst restless young malcontents and elderly eccentrics. As he becomes entangled with their lives, his own fate reveals itself. Commissioned by…