Today, at a press conference in Edinburgh, Director Jonathan Mills revealed the artists, companies and work from around the world that will fill the stages of Edinburgh’s annual cultural celebration.
Over 2,400 artists from 43 nations have been invited to Edinburgh to perform in the annual showcase of the world’s great performing artists.
Exploring the relationship between culture and conflict in the year of the centenary commemoration of the First World War, the Festival presents theatre, dance and music that looks at the work of artists who in difficult and uncertain circumstances can transcend their surroundings to create work of great beauty and optimism.
Artists and companies include Kronos Quartet, Mariinsky Opera, Stan Douglas, Luk Perceval, National Theatre of Scotland and National Theatre of Great Britain, Heiner Goebbels, Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch, Rambert, Nicola Benedetti, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Lemi Ponifasio, Tom Cairns, Chekov International Theatre Festival, Czech Philharmonic, Ute Lemper, Handspring Puppet Company, Brett Bailey, Blythe Duff, Sofie Gråbøl, Paco Peña Flamenco Company, Mark Baldwin, Daniil Trifonov, Anne Sofie von Otter, Piotr Anderszewski, Oliver Knussen, Jordi Savall, Collegium Vocale Gent and many others.
Reflecting the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, the Edinburgh International Festival in 2014 has invited artists from Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa to make a significant contribution to the Festival.
A season of work celebrating the 20th anniversary of democracy in South Africa opens with the world premiere of a new ballet Inala. Composer Ella Spira has collaborated with Ladysmith Black Mambazo who perform live creating the soundscape for dancers from Rambert and The Royal Ballet choreographed by Mark Baldwin. Handspring Puppet Company is remounting the work which made its name internationally, based on the text by Alfred Jarry and the transcriptions of the South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Committee, Ubu and the Truth Commission.
Epic centerpieces of the Festival in 2014 come in the form of three plays on three kings of Scotland, The James Plays by Rona Munro, and Berlioz’s masterpiece Les Troyens, staged in Scotland for the first time in over 40 years.
The James Plays starring James McArdle, Blythe Duff, Andrew Rothney, Jamie Sives and Sofie Gråbøl among a very strong ensemble cast directed by Laurie Sansom, mark the first co-production between the National Theatre of Scotland and the National Theatre of Great Britain, and the Edinburgh International Festival. The James Plays mark Laurie Sansom’s artistic debut in his new rôle as artistic director of the National Theatre of Scotland. Festival audiences can experience all three plays in one day or spread the works, each filled with vibrant and powerful storytelling, over three days at the Festival Theatre.
Valery Gergiev and the mass forces of the Mariinsky Opera and Orchestra gather to perform Greek director Yannis Kokkos’s vast staging of Berlioz’s The Trojans. Also in the opera programme for Festival 2014 is Benjamin Britten’s ground-breaking opera written for television, Owen Wingrave, a co-production between Aldeburgh Music and Edinburgh International Festival.
The Festival’s other co-productions this year include The War, the story of young artists in Paris from 1913 onwards directed by Vladimir Pankov and staged by the Chekhov International Theatre Festival; and I AM, a new production from choreographer Lemi Ponifasio and MAU.
Tickets go on sale for the Festival to Friends and Patrons of the Festival on Wednesday 19 March. Tickets go on sale to the general public from Saturday 29 March. Visit eif.co.uk to explore the programme in more detail and book tickets.
Edinburgh International Festival Friday 8 to Sunday 31 August 2014