Edinburgh International Festival - Edinburgh
3 June 2020

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Götterdämmerung
Breaking the Waves
Siegfried
Il barbiere di Siviglia
Macbeth

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Performance reviews

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Eugene Onegin

Edinburgh International Festival


No. of reviews: 9

Le Komische Oper de Berlin ébranle Edimbourg avec Eugene Onegin
3 Sep 19 / Classique c'est cool!
The night belonged to the Lithuanian soprano Asmik Grigorian
25 Aug 19 / The Observer
Phénoménale Asmik Grigorian
21 Aug 19 / Forum Opéra
Michael Nagy's Onegin dominates the second cast
19 Aug 19 / The Opera Critic
Grigorian's riveting Tatyana steals the show
17 Aug 19 / The Guardian
A warmly observed, humane Eugene Onegin in Edinburgh
17 Aug 19 / Seen and Heard
Asmik Grigorian wows as Tatyana in Komische Oper Eugene Onegin in Edinburgh
17 Aug 19 / Bachtrack
An unforgettable staging
17 Aug 19 / Telegraph
This production is as good as opera gets
17 Aug 19 / The Herald
West Side Story

Edinburgh International Festival


No. of reviews: 6

A Edimbourg, John Eliot Gardiner dirige West Side Story!
31 Aug 19 / Classique c'est cool!
Adieu Kiri, adieu José
12 Aug 19 / Forum Opéra
A quite unforgettable experience
8 Aug 19 / The Herald
Finger-clicking good
7 Aug 19 / The Opera Critic
Bernstein's musical is out of step in concert hall
7 Aug 19 / The Guardian
The SCO were as raunchily tuned into the Latin American pizzazz as they were meltingly sensuous
7 Aug 19 / The Scotsman
Götterdämmerung

Edinburgh International Festival


No. of reviews: 6

A triumphant end to the Festival's concert Ring
29 Aug 19 / The Opera Critic
A truly fabulous end to the Edinburgh International Festival’s Ring
29 Aug 19 / Bachtrack
Together with the pungency of the RCS Voices, this was a cast to die for
27 Aug 19 / The Scotsman
Christine Goerke proves that she is mistress of Wagner's music
27 Aug 19 / Telegraph
Outstanding end to festival's mighty Ring cycle
27 Aug 19 / The Guardian
Andrew Davis’s Götterdämmerung ends the 2019 Edinburgh Festival in a blaze of glory
27 Aug 19 / Seen and Heard
Manon Lescaut

Edinburgh International Festival


No. of reviews: 2

Sondra Radvanovsky shines as the tragic heroine, Manon Lescaut
26 Aug 19 / The Opera Critic
Deutsche Oper Berlin’s Manon Lescaut was pretty darn good in Edinburgh
24 Aug 19 / Seen and Heard
Breaking the Waves

Edinburgh International Festival


No. of reviews: 6

Missy Mazzoli’s opera based on Lars von Trier’s film triumphs in its European premiere
25 Aug 19 / The Observer
Von Trier's bleak drama feels lost in translation
23 Aug 19 / The Guardian
Troubling opera based on Lars von Trier’s film
23 Aug 19 / The Stage
Mazzoli’s luminous Breaking the Waves receives European premiere in Edinburgh
23 Aug 19 / Bachtrack
A ponderous new opera from Missy Mazzoli
23 Aug 19 / The Opera Critic
In Edinburgh Breaking the Waves restores faith in opera as an art form
22 Aug 19 / Seen and Heard
Missy Mazzoli: 'Breaking the Waves' deals with big ideas
Adapting Lars von Trier’s provocative 1996 film about faith and loyalty in an insular Scottish community was the first challenge. Bringing it to Scotland is the next.
Orfeo ed Euridice

Edinburgh International Festival


No. of reviews: 2

Iestyn Davies and Sophie Bevan seductive in Orfeo ed Euridice
17 Aug 19 / The Opera Critic
Gluck’s music was the star attraction
17 Aug 19 / The Scotsman
La Cenerentola

Edinburgh International Festival


No. of reviews: 9

El Festival Internacional de Edimburgo pone a sobre las tablas a La Cenerentola más feminista
5 Sep 18 / Opera World (Spanish)
It proved difficult to resist a panto version of Rossini’s Cinderella
2 Sep 18 / The Observer
An impeccably sung production
1 Sep 18 / The Stage
Opera de Lyon will leave you giggling like a schoolgirl
27 Aug 18 / The Herald
Comic direction to savour from Stefan Herheim
27 Aug 18 / Bachtrack
A superb yet gloriously silly production
27 Aug 18 / The Opera Critic
Cinderella has a ball with exuberant panto kitsch
27 Aug 18 / The Guardian
Park your hierarchical concerns in the foyer and enjoy this production as a jolly tale that delivers some good laughs
27 Aug 18 / The Times
A surrealist romp with shades of Monty Python
26 Aug 18 / Telegraph
Q & A: Mezzo Michèle Losier
On her first Rossini role and Edinburgh Festival.
The Beggar's Opera

Edinburgh International Festival


No. of reviews: 11

Robert Carsen encuentra el equilibrio en Edimburgo
29 Aug 18 / Opera World (Spanish)
A Beggar’s Opera that beggars belief in Edinburgh
23 Aug 18 / The Spectator
Baroque meets jukebox musical in a wryly topical Beggar’s Opera at EIF
21 Aug 18 / Bachtrack
Kaleidoscopically multi-layered, with cultural references that effortlessly span over three centuries
19 Aug 18 / The Herald
The production harbours a brilliance which is untameable but definitely refreshing
19 Aug 18 / The Edinburgh Reporter
No matter how many lines of coke are snorted or expletives spat out, there’s no real sting in this Beggar for the Brexit era
18 Aug 18 / The Times
Seriously out of touch
18 Aug 18 / The Stage
The original jukebox musical reimagined
18 Aug 18 / The Guardian
A scabrous, virulent, gleefully profane production
18 Aug 18 / Telegraph
A high-energy show
17 Aug 18 / The Opera Critic
Catch The Beggar’s Opera at the EIF if you can
17 Aug 18 / Seen and Heard
A Beggar's Opera for our times
John Gay’s 18th century satire is a work whose essential remit is to confront the uncomfortable. How is Robert Carsen’s take dealing with the homeless crisis, Brexit and the #metoo movement?
Interview: Robert Carsen
Almost three centuries on from its creation, The Beggar’s Opera is still as relevant, meaningful and adaptable as ever.
Hansel und Gretel

Edinburgh International Festival


No. of reviews: 2

An atmospheric concert version of Hansel und Gretel
17 Aug 18 / The Opera Critic
It was Thomas Blondelle who nearly stole the show as the Witch
17 Aug 18 / The Herald
Siegfried

Edinburgh International Festival


No. of reviews: 4

Sir Mark Elder brings a lifetime of Wagner experience to Hallé’s EIF Siegfried
10 Aug 18 / Seen and Heard
The singing cast was as full of star turns
10 Aug 18 / The Herald
The Hallé comes to the fore in a glorious Siegfried
10 Aug 18 / The Opera Critic
The Hallé are now playing with world-class finesse
10 Aug 18 / Telegraph
Il barbiere di Siviglia

Edinburgh International Festival


No. of reviews: 8

Stylish, but adrift from the real world
9 Aug 18 / Telegraph
Tales from the stave
8 Aug 18 / Bachtrack
A surreal, superficial show
8 Aug 18 / The Times
The virile energy of this performance mostly compensates for what is missing
8 Aug 18 / The Scotsman
Clever and playful
8 Aug 18 / The Stage
Despite a fussy staging, a lot about Théâtre des Champs-Élysées’s Barber works
7 Aug 18 / Seen and Heard
A warm-hearted and entertaining production
7 Aug 18 / The Opera Critic
Engaging Rossini revamp is a crowd-pleasing romp
7 Aug 18 / The Guardian
La bohème

Edinburgh International Festival


No. of reviews: 4

Triumphant love scenes and clever staging enhance a production that only shines on occasion
30 Aug 17 / The Stage
Puccini's melodies warm up the harsh urban setting
28 Aug 17 / The Opera Critic
A great show but these modern-day updates are getting tedious
28 Aug 17 / Telegraph
Ensemble work of the highest order
28 Aug 17 / The Times
Macbeth

Edinburgh International Festival


No. of reviews: 11

Un exorcismo necesario
30 Aug 17 / Opera World (Spanish)
Teatro Regio’s festival Macbeth was inventive but incoherent
27 Aug 17 / The Times
Gianandrea Noseda and Turin’s Teatro Regio convey the full force of Verdi’s first Shakespeare opera
26 Aug 17 / The Observer
Striking but not always convincing
23 Aug 17 / Financial Times (via Google)
Opulent Turin Macbeth arrives at Edinburgh International Festival
22 Aug 17 / Bachtrack
Blessed with musical power but lacks detail
22 Aug 17 / The Stage
A musically satisfying spectacle
22 Aug 17 / The Opera Critic
Dalibor Jenis delivers a powerful performance in the title role
22 Aug 17 / The Scotsman
The production is strong in choreography and invokes Grigorovich’s ballets
21 Aug 17 / Classical Source
High camp, dark drama and more than a hint of Game of Thrones
20 Aug 17 / The Guardian
Authentic Italian rawness and energy
20 Aug 17 / Telegraph
La Damnation de Faust

Edinburgh International Festival


No. of reviews: 2

Sir Mark Elder leads Hallé in sensational-sounding Faust
22 Aug 17 / Seen and Heard
A dramatic and engaging reading of Berlioz' Faust tale
22 Aug 17 / The Opera Critic
L'incoronazione di Poppea

Edinburgh International Festival


No. of reviews: 3

A Monteverdi journey ends with Poppea
20 Aug 17 / The Opera Critic
a magnificent conclusion to Gardiner’s celebratory Monteverdi opera trilogy
20 Aug 17 / The Scotsman
Thrilling Poppea cements Gardiner’s greatness in epic Festival feat
19 Aug 17 / Seen and Heard
Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria

Edinburgh International Festival


No. of reviews: 3

A very satisfying performance
20 Aug 17 / The Opera Critic
‘Sheer beauty’: Il Ritorno d’Ulisse is another triumph for Gardiner’s Monteverdi Trilogy
19 Aug 17 / Seen and Heard
Gardiner gathered together a superb line-up of singer
18 Aug 17 / The Scotsman
L'Orfeo

Edinburgh International Festival


No. of reviews: 3

Gardiner’s ’fresh, dynamic’ L’Orfeo makes for a compellingly theatrical experience
19 Aug 17 / Seen and Heard
Monteverdi takes centre stage at the Edinburgh International Festival
17 Aug 17 / The Opera Critic
Krystian Adam was outstanding as an emotionally sensitive, and determined, Orfeo
17 Aug 17 / The Scotsman
Peter Grimes

Edinburgh International Festival


No. of reviews: 6

A superb cast and huge forces thrill in Bergen Opera’s minimalist staging of Britten’s masterpiece
19 Aug 17 / The Guardian
Stuart Skelton is Peter Grimes at the Edinburgh International Festival
17 Aug 17 / Seen and Heard
The night belonged to Stuart Skelton as Peter Grimes
17 Aug 17 / The Opera Critic
Edward Gardner and the Bergen Phil storm the Edinburgh Festival with a powerful Peter Grimes
16 Aug 17 / Bachtrack
Another glorious triumph
16 Aug 17 / The Scotsman
A tumultuous reception for Britten’s masterpiece
15 Aug 17 / Telegraph
Die Walküre

Edinburgh International Festival


No. of reviews: 7

RSNO need no set to light Valkyrie’s fire
14 Aug 17 / The Scotsman
Memorable and epic Die Walküre at Edinburgh International Festival
9 Aug 17 / Bachtrack
Wagner en terres anglophones
9 Aug 17 / Forum Opéra
Bryn Terfel’s capacity as Wotan continues to be admirable
9 Aug 17 / Classical Source
Terfel’s complex Wotan evoked the spirit of Shakespeare’s King Lear
8 Aug 17 / The Scotsman
A little magic in the air: Davis conducts the RSNO in a thrilling Die Walküre
8 Aug 17 / Seen and Heard
Quite a ride!
8 Aug 17 / The Opera Critic
Greek

Edinburgh International Festival


No. of reviews: 9

Alex Otterburn as the Oedipal Stuart, trying to escape from Fate and Tuffnell Park, was devastating and terrifying
14 Aug 17 / The Scotsman
Cockney opera mixes the baleful and the banal
8 Aug 17 / Financial Times (via Google)
Who would have thought ketchup and beans could feature so garishly in an opera or symbolise so much?
8 Aug 17 / Classical Source
Bold and tacky
8 Aug 17 / The Stage
The real clincher in this production is Hill-Gibbons’ focus on psychology rather than epoch
8 Aug 17 / The Scotsman
The evening belongs to Alex Otterburn's Eddy
7 Aug 17 / The Opera Critic
Re-unveiling of EIF’s past glory is mesmerising when it works
7 Aug 17 / Telegraph
Oedipus opera update as relevant and risque as ever
7 Aug 17 / The Guardian
For Scottish Opera Emerging Artist Alex Otterburn the central role of Eddy is a huge achievement
6 Aug 17 / The Herald
Opera director Joe Hill-Gibbins: How I got an Oepidus complex
The ancient myth speaks to us still, and, through the prism of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s hard-hitting opera Greek, the director of a new production found insights, strange beauty and football chants.
Don Giovanni

Edinburgh International Festival


No. of reviews: 4

A stripped-down production in more ways than one
12 Aug 17 / Telegraph
The orchestra sets the scene brilliantly from Fischer’s first down beat
11 Aug 17 / The Scotsman
The devil is in the detail
11 Aug 17 / The Opera Critic
Ivan Fischer's singular vision leaves his singers in limbo
11 Aug 17 / The Guardian
Così fan tutte

Edinburgh International Festival


No. of reviews: 9

Performances were strong across the board
30 Aug 16 / The Arts Desk
This production is uncomfortable and often unpleasant to watch
28 Aug 16 / The Herald
Mozart's frothy opera turns nasty
27 Aug 16 / The Guardian
Racial and sexual abuse should shock audiences, not the titillation
27 Aug 16 / The Conversation
Grown-up and intelligent
27 Aug 16 / The Opera Critic
This staging of Così fan tutte is a scandal – but not because of the nudity
27 Aug 16 / Telegraph
EIF’s Così fan tutte explores the opera’s darker side in an unsettling sexual manner
27 Aug 16 / Seen and Heard
Points made, but underlined in red: a superbly performed Edinburgh Così fan tutte – for adults
27 Aug 16 / Bachtrack
Another fight at the opera in Cosi Fan Tutte row over wages
The South African production of Mozart’s masterpiece Cosi Fan Tutte ran into further trouble when it transferred to France.
Edinburgh Festival offers refunds before ‘extreme’ opera opens
The Edinburgh International Festival has taken the unprecedented step of offering refunds for one of its flagship operas before it is even staged in the city due to its extreme content.
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News & Articles

Edinburgh International Festival cancelled
The five festivals that take place over August - the Edinburgh International Festival, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the Edinburgh Book Festival, the Edinburgh Art Festival and the Edinburgh Military Tattoo - have all been cancelled.
2 Apr 2020 / Edinburgh Guide
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The opera programme features three staged productions across ten performances at the Festival Theatre and King’s Theatre, and two concert performances at the Usher Hall.
15 Mar 2018 / Opera Now
What 70 years of the Edinburgh Festival has done for the arts
Sir Rudolph Bing, co-founder and first director of the Edinburgh International Festival, once said: “The opera always loses money. That’s as it should be. Opera has no business making money.”
5 Aug 2017 / The Conversation
EIF 2017 looks to a bright flowering of the human spirit
The Edinburgh International Festival has announced the biggest programme of opera the Festival has mounted in many years.
16 Mar 2017 / The Herald
Another fight at the opera in Cosi Fan Tutte row over wages
The South African production of Mozart’s masterpiece Cosi Fan Tutte ran into further trouble when it transferred to France.
28 Aug 2016 / Telegraph