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Aug. 7, 2012
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2012 Edinburgh International Festival (Aug. 9 – Sept. 2, 2012)
This year, the Edinburgh International Festival is being held for the 66th time with a program of 114 performances from 47 countries, including 11 theater works, eight dance works, seven opera works and 53 music concerts. The opening features British composer Frederick Delius’ A Mass of Life performed by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. From Japan, the Board of Japanese Imperial Court Music ensemble of the Imperial Household Agency makes its first overseas performances of traditional Japanese Gagaku music in ten years and Tadashi Suzuki’s SCOT company is officially invited to perform Waiting for Orestes: Electra.
The theater program is highlighted by performances of Shakespeare. Premiering in the World Shakespeare Festival is Russian director Dmitry Krymov’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream; from the Polish director Grzegorz Jarzyna’s 2008: Macbeth, adapting Shakespeare’s original to the context of the war on terror in Central Europe; and the Royal Shakespeare Company presents a stage adaptation of Shakespeare’s tragic poem The Rape of Lucrece.
Other highlights of the program include a Théâtre du Soleil production of Les Naufragés du Fol Espoir directed by Ariane Mnouchkine; a musical remake My Fair Lady – a language laboratory by the creator of unique musical theater, Christoph Marthaler; and a production of Gulliver’s Travels created through a collaboration of Romanian director Silviu Purcǎrete and Irish musician Shaun Davey.
Featured on the dance program are the European premiere of Australian choreographer Leigh Warren’s Breathe, Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin and the Batsheva Dance Company presenting the work Hora, and the Deborah Colker Dance Company resetting Aleksandr Pushkin’s classic Tatyana in contemporary Brazil.
Another highlight of this year’s program is the Scottish art company NVA’s Speed of Light. This world premiere is a fusion of public art and sporting endeavor. The project is staged on Arthur's Seat, the mountain rising from the city of Edinburgh, and it involves several hundred participants climbing the mountain wearing specially designed light suits to create a spectacle of grand-scale urban illumination.
This year’s Edinburgh Festival is linked to the London 2012 Festival currently in progress as a cultural event tied to the London Olympics, and as part of this project governments of England and Scotland and the British Council have jointed in a partnership to hold for the first time an Edinburgh International Culture Summit on August 13 and 14. (

Festival Outline
The Edinburgh International Festival is a performing arts festival held in the old Scottish capital of Edinburgh. The Festival was founded in 1947 with the aim of providing “a platform for the flowering of the human spirit.” The festival is held over a period of three weeks in August each year during a period when five other festivals are held concurrently in Edinburgh, the Festival Fringe, International Film Festival, the International Book Festival, the Jazz & Blues Festival and the Military Tattoo. Today, these festivals have come to be called collectively the “Edinburgh Festival.” Since 2007, the Festival Director and Chief Executive is Australian Jonathan Mills, who also has experience at the Melbourne Festival.
+Edinburgh International Festival