Opera Scotland

Exciting programme for Edinburgh Festival

Posted 16 Mar 2017

The Edinburgh International Festival (EIF) has unveiled its 2017 programme which marks the event’s 70th anniversary. This year’s International Festival runs from Friday 4 to Monday 28 August, welcoming 2,020 artists from 40 nations to perform in Scotland’s capital city.

The nine operas include works from all ages and for all appetites, appealing to both seasoned fans and opera newcomers alike. Highlights include classic operas Puccini’s La bohème, Verdi’s Macbeth (pictured), and Mozart’s Don Giovanni, while concert performances in the Usher Hall feature world class singers including Sir Bryn Terfel, Christine Goerke, Stuart Skelton, Erin Wall and Karen Cargill.  

  • This expanded EIF programme, featuring nine operas in total, marks the 70th anniversary by celebrating the central role that the art form played in the founding years of the Festival. Teatro Regio Torino and Music Director Gianandrea Noseda are resident in Edinburgh for a fortnight as they bring two operas to the Festival Theatre: Verdi’s Macbeth – the first opera staged at the inaugural International Festival - in a new staging from director Emma Dante, and Puccini’s La bohème in a production directed by Àlex Ollé.
  • Following his acclaimed reimagining of The Marriage of Figaro at the 2015 International Festival, Iván Fischer conducts and directs his vision of Mozart’s Don Giovanni with the Budapest Festival Orchestra and baritone Christopher Maltman in the title role.
  • Scottish Opera and Opera Ventures present a new staging of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s landmark opera Greek, an adaptation of Steven Berkoff’s acclaimed play, which was co-commissioned and premiered by the International Festival in 1988, with conductor Stuart Stratford and director Joe Hill-Gibbons.
  • As part of a project marking the 450th anniversary of the composer’s birth Sir John Eliot Gardiner, the English Baroque Soloists and Monteverdi Choir bring semi-staged performances of Claudio Monteverdi’s three surviving operas - L’Orfeo, Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria and I’incoronazione di Poppea – to the Usher Hall.
  • The Usher Hall programme also includes the second instalment of a four-year concert presentation of Wagner’s Ring cycle with Sir Andrew Davis leading the Royal Scottish National Orchestra in Die Walküre with a stellar cast of soloists led by Sir Bryn Terfel and Christine Goerke.
  • The final opera in concert sees Edward Gardner conduct the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra in a concert performance of Benjamin Britten’s Peter Grimes, with tenor Stuart Skelton in the title role.

OperaScotland has posted full details of all nine operae. Three additional events have been included - Monteverdi's Combattimento at the Queen's Hall, Berlioz's Damnation of Faust and Elgar's King Olaf at the Usher.


The International Festival reaches thousands of young people every year through creative learning programmes in schools such as The Art of Listening, which introduces primary school pupils to classical music, as well as dance and other arts led workshops. The Festival is in the third year of a special relationship with Castlebrae Community High School and August sees the school gym hall being transformed into an International Festival venue presenting hip-hop dance company Boy Blue Entertainment – also performing at The Lyceum - with the world premiere of a new show Project R.E.B.E.L. Students have worked with the International Festival team through one-to-one mentoring and work experience programmes as well as external company’s such as the Festival’s Official Catering Partner Appetite Direct to learn about the different elements necessary to run a world class event in a professional venue.

The International Festival also continues to offer great value for young ticket buyers aged 18 and under, with a discount of 50% available on selected events from the opening of ticket sales. Students in full time education are entitled to a discount of 30% from 5 July onwards, with £8 tickets available for those aged 26 and under, on the day of performance.

Tickets for International Festival performances go on sale in a priority period to Festival Friends and Patrons on Saturday 18 March, with public sales going live at 10am on Saturday 25 March. A range of prices are available across the programme, with tickets starting from just £6.

The International Festival is one of the world’s largest and most diverse curated festivals, as well as one of the most accessible, offering a range of discounts and affordable entry price tickets. The International Festival continues to attract people from across the globe, expecting its audiences to travel from around 70 nations this year to be part of the global cultural celebration in Edinburgh. 


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