EIF unveiled its 70th Anniversary programme from the august Church Of Scotland Assembly Hall on The Mound earlier today.

To an accompanying sleek and chic audio-visual platform, Director, Fergus Linehan, extended the city’s welcome to over 2,020 artists from 40 nations.

Running from Friday 4 August 2017 to Monday 28 August 2017,  international talents range from Sir Bryn Terfel to Jarvis Cocker, with performances by sitar player/composer Anoushka Shankar, PJ Harvey and star violinist, Nicola Benedetti.

Expect dynamic derringer-dos within the principal classical disciplines of opera, classical music, theatre and dance with the strongest ever programme of contemporary music, movement and installation.

Ridiculously spoilt for choice, The Edinburgh Reporter has cherrypicked five unmissable genres.

1. Opera – Verdi’s Macbeth/Puccini’s La Boheme from 2017 resident company, Teatro Regio of Turin. Benjamin Britten’s revolutionary Peter Grimes, naturally.

2. Theatre – A rare and much anticipated reworking of Eugène Ionesco’s absurdist farce, Rhinoceros. Scottish theatre company Vox Motus present Flight, based on Caroline Brothers’ novel Hinterland,  Oliver Emanuel’s World Premier follows the desperate odyssey of two orphaned brothers. Models and images compliment this spellbinding production. Dublin’s Gate Theatre Artistic Director, Michael Colgan brings a new production of Beckett’s Krapp’s Last Tapes.

3. Dance – Expect fireworks aplenty from Nederlands Dans Theater and the flamenco vibrant Yo, Carmen from María Pagés Company.

4. Classical – This is where Edinburgh’s morning jewel in the crown sparkles at its brightest at The Queen’s Hall on Nicolson Street with its series of morning concerts. Snapping at the heels of the patrician Usher Hall, both programmes are intoxicatingly diverse and need further perusal. Satisfaction unconditionally guaranteed.

5. With already just a brief nod to some contemporary genre artists, mention must go to Alfred Bendel’s ‘My Musical Life’, Staffa, in words and music and not least the Edinburgh Festival Chorus.

Anticipate pyrotechnic splendour with the Festival closing fireworks. Equally, keep a very sharp eye out for breaking news about Standard Life’s opening event, BLOOM. Think last year’s Deep Time – think this year as a big-time platform for the flowering of the human spirit.

Welcome World.

The EIF programme can be viewed in full here.