Opera Scotland

Edinburgh Festival Programme announced

Posted 27 Mar 2019

The Edinburgh International Festival runs from 2 – 26 August 2019, bringing its usual extravagant mix of theatre, music and dance from across the world to Scotland’s capital. The programme features 93 events, with 293 performances across 17 venues and 2600 artists from 40 nations.


The staged opera programme features two contrasting works. Komische Oper Berlin and its Artistic Director Barrie Kosky return with a production of Tchaikovsky’s best-loved opera Eugene Onegin. The first cast includes soprano Asmik Grigorian, recently nominated for Best Singer at the International Opera Awards, in the central role of Tatyana, opposite German baritone Günter Papendell in the title role.

Scottish Opera and Opera Ventures collaborate in the European premiere of American composer Missy Mazzoli’s contemporary opera Breaking the Waves. The production is by Tony award-winning director Tom Morris. Based on Lars von Trier’s controversial 1996 film, Mazzoli’s multi-layered and melodic score is said to recall Britten and Janácek, creating a dark soundscape which underlines the moral ambiguity of the story. US soprano Sydney Mancasola and Scottish-born baritone Duncan Rock lead the ensemble cast.

Remarkable performances of opera-in-concert remain a central feature of the Usher Hall programme. Wagner’s epic Götterdämmerung concludes the International Festival’s concert Ring cycle, begun in 2016. US Soprano Christine Goerke returns once again to sing Brünnhilde, following her memorable appearances in the role at the 2017 and 2018 Festivals. She is joined by Burkhard Fritz as Siegfried, with Amber Wagner, Karen Cargill and Samuel Youn returning. The ensemble also features Erin Wall and Catriona Morison. The performance is led by Sir Andrew Davis conducting the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

Scottish conductor Donald Runnicles returns to Edinburgh with the full orchestra and chorus of Deutsche Oper Berlin, where he is Music Director, for Puccini’s Manon Lescaut in concert. One of the world’s great performers in this repertoire, American-Canadian soprano Sondra Radvanovsky, makes her International Festival debut in the title role.

The notable British counter-tenor Iestyn Davies performs in Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice. He is joined by sopranos Sophie Bevan and Rowan Pierce with The English Concert, one of the world’s most respected period ensembles, under Canadian conductor Bernard Labadie.

A concert performance of a different sort comes from Sir John Eliot Gardiner. He leads the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and a cast of international soloists in Leonard Bernstein’s masterpiece of musical theatre, West Side Story. He conducts an augmented Broadway theatre scoring as Bernstein originally intended, with soloists including Alek Shrader as Tony, Sophia Burgos as Maria and Andrea Baker as Anita.

The oratorio strand this year continues the series of major Elgar works. The Kingdom is conducted by Sir Mark Elder. The Hallé and the Edinburgh Festival Chorus are complemented by an excellent quartet of soloists  - Natalya Romaniw, Alice Coote, Michael Fabiano and Roderick Williams.

OperaScotland will post listings as more information becomes available.


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