Opera and musicals always form a big part of the Edinburgh International Festival offering. This year while it is a stripped back programme there are some real highlights, with Ariadne auf Naxos in a concert staging and some laughter in an outdoor version of Falstaff.
The musical revue, A Grand Night for Singing, which premiered on Broadway in 1993, will have you singing along (if you’re allowed by then!) or tapping your feet to songs from Carousel, South Pacific and The Sound of Music.
Under conductor Sir Andrew Davis, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra returns to the International Festival in Richard Strauss’ sumptuous comedy Ariadne auf Naxos. This brand-new concert staging by Louisa Muller features German soprano Dorothea Röschmann as the opera’s wronged heroine, David Butt Philip as Bacchus, Thomas Quasthoff as the house’s major-domo and prize-winning Scottish singer Catriona Morison as The Composer.
Belize-born British composer Errollyn Wallen reimagines and expands the story of Dido and Aeneas in Dido’s Ghost, accompanied by the Dunedin Consort under the directorship of John Butt and starring South African soprano Golda Schultz as Dido. The piece was co-commissioned by the International Festival, Dunedin Consort, Mahogany Opera, the Barbican Centre, Buxton International Festival and the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Chorale.
Scottish Opera returns to the International Festival with a new production of Falstaff by Glasgow-born director and designer Sir David McVicar. This new staging, adapted from the outdoor version, gets to the bones of Falstaff, balancing laugh-out-loud moments with a poignant tale of a childlike man who has outlived his own time.
The iconic songs of classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals shine in A Grand Night for Singing – a musical revue staged by musical theatre performer Kim Criswell and conducted by Wayne Marshall. The handpicked cast features Criswell alongside Danielle de Niese, Anna-Jane Casey, Damian Humbley and Richard Morrison.
Shona the Musical Choir is a Scottish/African choir based in Edinburgh, presenting original songs from Shona the Musical, a cross-cultural love story that transcends racial barriers. The story and music are inspired by historical events and the socio-political turmoil of Robert Mugabe’s rule of Zimbabwe.
See www.eif.co.uk/opera for information on individual performances.