The full press release for the 2007 International Festival:
Edinburgh International Festival 2007
Friday 10 August – Sunday 2 September
Wit and fun in eclectic programme full of connections.
* Jonathan Mills announces his first programme as Director of the Edinburgh International Festival.
* The Festival celebrates the 400th anniversary Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo by exploring myths down the ages and the importance of words or music, throughout the programme.
* World premiere of Cologne Opera’s production of Capriccio starring Gabriele Fontana.
* World premieres from David Greig and the National Theatre of Scotland, Scottish Ballet and Stephen Petronio, The Tiger Lillies, Michael Lin, Apolonija Sustersic, and Richard Wright. The programme also includes 7 UK premieres and 2 European premieres.
* Early evening concerts follow the journey of music from the 11th century to the 17th century.
* Festival Lectures from Marina Warner, Karen Armstrong and Simon Schama.
* The Wooster Group’s La Didone, inspired by Cavalli’s opera.
* ‘Sharing the Festival’ Benjamin Bagby’s Beowulf tours to venues in Orkney and Grampian.
* Jardins Publics, curated by Katrina Brown, marks a return for the visual arts in EIF’s programme.
Jonathan Mills today announced his first programme as Director of the Edinburgh International Festival saying “Festivals are a gift; a special gift from a city to itself, to its citizens, to its visitors, to its future, to its very soul. In planning this, my first year’s programme, my inspiration was Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo - not just as a celebration of its 400th anniversary, but as an exploration of its legacy still alive in the work of artists today. I hope audiences will have a fantastic time at the Festival. There is a broad range of artists, styles and work from the deeply serious to the seriously fun which I hope will appeal to everyone. I look forward to welcoming both locals and visitors to Edinburgh in August.”
The 2007 Edinburgh International Festival runs from Friday 10 August to Sunday 2 September across the city in theatres, concert halls and opera houses attracting audiences from around the world to Scotland’s picturesque capital.
The Festival welcomes some of the best international artists working today. Making their Edinburgh International Festival debuts are: Jordi Savall, Deborah Voigt, Natascha Petrinsky, Compagnie Montalvo-Hervieu, Trisha Brown Dance Company, Alan Cumming, Barrie Kosky, Mabou Mines, Lee Breuer, Chiara Banchini, Thomas Adès, the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela and Gustavo Dudamel, Cantus Cölln, Andreas Scholl, Anonymous 4 and The Tiger Lillies.
The architecture of the Festival remains familiar under Jonathan Mills with theatre, opera, music and dance in the city’s main venues, but evolves with the addition of some new strands and an eclectic mix of repertoire. One new strand is the inclusion of the visual arts within the International Festival programme. In Jardins Publics, three major artists have been commissioned to explore the question of the public garden inspired by figures as diverse as Voltaire, Patrick Geddes and Ian Hamilton Finlay, and sited in three locations across the city.
Dance sees the Festival extending its relationship with Scottish Ballet in a co-commission from American choreographer Stephen Petronio, the Festival debuts of Olivier Award winning Compagnie Montalvo-Hervieu performing On Danse and the Trisha Brown Dance Company with a spread of her works over 20 years including the UK premiere of Canto/Pianto. Another UK premiere is William Forsythe’s hilarious, end of the world spectacular Impressing the Czar performed by the Royal Ballet of Flanders.
Theatre brings The Bacchae from the National Theatre of Scotland in the world premiere of a new version by David Greig, directed by John Tiffany and starring Alan Cumming; Vienna Schauspielhaus’ Poppea directed by Barrie Kosky and The Wooster Group’s La Didone marry music and theatre through the inspiration of early opera; the UK premiere of the acclaimed Mabou Mines DollHouse directed by avant-garde director Lee Breuer; American Repertory Theatre’s successful modern take on the Orpheus myth in Orpheus X receives its European premiere; and an international collaboration between Theatre Cryptic and Singapore’s T’ang Quartet, engages Scottish based artists with international partners.
Monteverdi’s ground breaking debate on the importance of words versus music serves as one of the inspirations behind this year’s programme and a traditional production of L’Orfeo directed by Gilbert Deflo and conducted by Jordi Savall marks the 400th anniversary of this the first major opera and opens the opera programme. The Festival and Cologne Opera present the world premiere of a new production of Richard Strauss’ Capriccio starring Gabriele Fontana, conducted by Markus Stenz and directed and designed by Christian von Götz and Gabriele Jänicke. Capriccio opens in Edinburgh before transferring to Cologne. Three evenings of opera in concert: Orlando furioso, Oedipus Rex, Dido and Aeneas and Prima la musica, poi le parole complete the opera programme with international artists including Nicholas McGegan, Jean-Christophe Spinosi, Jennifer Larmore, Philippe Jaroussky, Jeffrey Lloyd-Roberts, Natascha Petrinksy, and Jane Irwin.
Music brings major orchestras to Edinburgh including San Francisco Symphony, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela, Hespèrion XXI and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe alongside the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. There is a range of music from de Falla, Bernstein, Sibelius, Stravinsky and Vivaldi, to the latest musings of The Tiger Lillies on the topic of Monteverdi. Artists include Michael Tilson Thomas, Toby Spence, Chiara Banchini, Sir Roger Norrington, Andreas Scholl, Sir Thomas Allen, Robert Spano, Mariss Jansons, and Dames Gillian Weir and Evelyn Glennie.
The Festival is proud to present a series of early evening concerts at Greyfriars Kirk following the development of music from the 11th century to the 17th century, including concerts covering all the books of Monteverdi’s Madrigals. The artists performing are the finest in the world in this genre: Rinaldo Alessandrini and the Concerto Italiano, Anonymous 4, La Venexiana, Phantasm, Theatre of Voices, Ars Nova, Heulgas Ensemble, The Tallis Scholars, Cantus Cölln and The Orlando Consort.
The Bank of Scotland Queen’s Hall Series starts each day with a chamber recital with artists including Jordi Savall, Kate Royal and Christine Rice, Tokyo String Quartet, Yuri Bashmet, Gidon Kremer, Silvana Dussmann, Chiara Banchini, Christine Brewer and John Williams among others.
‘Sharing the Festival’ begins this year with Beowulf, an ancient Scandinavian tale recreated by Benjamin Bagby travelling to venues in Orkney and Grampian before opening in Edinburgh.
The EIF, students from Napier University and Richard Demarco join to celebrate the 60th anniversary through installations in the theatres and concert halls used through the Festival period.
Jonathan Mills added “I would like to thank the many public funders, sponsors, supporters, and ticket buyers who together make it possible to stage the Festival. They all play an invaluable role. As a relative newcomer from the other side of the world I know how special the Edinburgh International Festival is and in the past have put on Festivals inspired by the Edinburgh model. It is a huge honour and thrill for me to announce my first Festival. I hope everyone will embrace the 2007 Festival and set aside time in August to enjoy as much of it as possible.”
Patricia Ferguson, Minister for Culture, Tourism and Sport said: “The Edinburgh International Festival is synonymous with cutting edge art, diversity and excellence.
“I am delighted that home-grown companies such as the National Theatre of Scotland, with the welcome return of Alan Cumming to the Scottish stage, and Scottish Ballet feature in the programme.
“They join a stellar line-up of internationally acclaimed artists. That’s what makes the city special and that’s why Scotland should take pride in its world class festivals.”
Jim Tough, Acting Chief Executive of the Scottish Arts Council said: “The Edinburgh International Festival is a unique and pre-eminent arts event on the world stage. It brings world class artists to Scotland to work alongside our own home-grown burgeoning artistic talent.
“Edinburgh remains one of the most exciting places in the world to experience the performing arts and Jonathan has certainly risen to the challenge this year, producing a fantastic programme of events that is sure to attract visitors from around the globe.”
Cllr Ewan Aitken, Leader of the City of Edinburgh Council, said: "Congratulations to Jonathan and his team for taking the Edinburgh International Festival to new heights. This is the cornerstone of our year-long festival lifestyle in the city and hugely contributes to the economy of the whole nation but as importantly it also creates a sense of well-being for those living here and those visiting as well. I look forward to seeing as much as I can this year and hope as many people as possible will take advantage of this unique programme."
Lesley Hinds, Lord Provost of Edinburgh and Chair of the Festival Council said:
“The 2007 Festival programme is a fantastic introduction from Jonathan Mills. It sees an exciting mix of artists and works that will delight audiences this August. The people of Edinburgh are in no doubt that the world’s largest summer festivals make Edinburgh a better place to live. The continued support from residents and more than two million visitors each year brings huge economic benefit, not just to Edinburgh, but to the whole of Scotland.”