Programme for the Edinburgh International Festival 2013 puts artists and technology centre-stage

This article is from 2013

Programme for the Edinburgh International Festival 2013 puts artists and technology centre-stage

Tod Machover, the Wooster Group and Oper Frankfurt among the EIF programme highlights

A crowd sourced orchestral work by boundary breaker Tod Machover is just one of the many highlights of this year’s Edinburgh International Festival programme. Set over three weeks this August, the EIF’s line-up includes an homage to Allen Ginsberg with Philip Glass and Patti Smith; a new commission from experimental artist Laurie Anderson; a tribute to Frank Zappa; and a return to the festival for the Wooster Group with the company’s inspired (re)take of Hamlet, complete with Richard Burton film footage.

Oper Frankfurt will appear for their festival debut with Aussie director Barrie Kosky at the helm for a double bill of Dido and Aeneas and Bluebeard’s Castle; Beckett fans can enjoy a mini festival of the Irish playwrights works courtesy of Gate Theatre Dublin and Pan Pan Theatre; and dance fans can indulge in a four day programme of classics, new commissions, talks and films from Scottish Ballet. Scottish Opera also return to the line-up, with the jazz inspired American Lulu, starring Angel Blue.

Scottish talent is also on show with the much-anticipated addition of Grid Iron to the programme, with the award-winning theatre company set to ‘take’ the audience to outer space with their site responsive promenade piece, Leaving Planet Earth. Intergalactic overtures will also play a part in the opera programme with Opera de Lyon and contemporary media artist Gary Hill reimagining Beethoven’s Fidelio in space.

Following Glass’s appearance at the festival in 2011, the Philip Glass Ensemble return to perform the artist’s reimaging of the score of Cocteau’s film Le Belle et la Bête; Black Swan choreographer Benjamin Millepied (aka Mr Natalie Portman) brings his LA Dance Project; and video artist and French choreographer José Montalvo inspires using blue screen technology in Don Quichotte du Trocadero.

As if that weren’t sufficient, Kafka’s Metamorphosis gets a reinvention with Wu Hsing-kuo (who EIF fans might remember from 2011’s one-man King Lear).

The EIF’s visual art strand reaps similarly great rewards with the work of subversive Korean American artist Nam June Paik at the Talbot Rice Gallery and Leonardo da Vinci: The Mechanics of Man at the Queen’s Gallery proving just two of the highlights. Across town, media artist Hyung Su Kim will use the public space outside the Usher Hall to create art with the use of LED technology.

And such highlights barely touches the sides of a music strand, which boasts such veritable joys as Pierre-Laurent Aimard and Italian electronic musician Marco Stroppa; the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra; the Chamber Orchestra of Europe with a festival debut from conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin; the Tonhalle Orchestra and the Russian National Orchestra; not to mention the festival’s Honorary President Valery Gergiev leading the RSNO in Prokofiev and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.

Edinburgh International Festival

Bringing world-class arts to the capital since 1947, the EIF sets the standard for classical concerts, opera, dance and theatre, while it's recently also added an excellent contemporary music strand.

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