Enlightened in Edinburgh

Enlightened in Edinburgh

Submerse yourself in exuberant cultural happenings at the Edinburgh International Festival

The annual Edinburgh International Festival returns this month, treating visitors to a wealth of dance, opera, music and theatre that enriches the city’s expansive cultural heritage. This edition of the world-renowned festival runs from 5 to 29 August and features world premieres, contemporary reincarnations of classic works and new productions. Here are five events not to miss.

The Standard Life Opening Event: Deep Time

The opening event of the Edinburgh International Festival will delve deep into the city’s geographic history, starting over 350 million years ago, through an immersive public outdoor installation that combines animation, lighting and music. Set against a projected background of the Edinburgh Castle and Castle Rock, the unique technological spectacle will be accompanied by a soundtrack compiled by Scottish rock band Mogwai. Sunday 7 August, 10.30pm, Castle Terrace Arena


Italian opera singer Cecilia Bartoli takes on the title role in this powerful production of Vincenzo Bellini’s impassioned opera Norma. Since debuting at the 2013 Salzburg Whitsun Festival, it has received critical acclaim around Europe, winning the 2013 International Opera Award for best new production. Set in World War II France, the narrative centres on themes of love, betrayal and revenge and definitely isn’t for the faint-hearted. 5 - 9 August, Festival Theatre

The Glass Menagerie

After Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in London’s West End, director John Tiffany heads to Edinburgh to revive his Broadway spectacle The Glass Menagerie. Featuring a domineering mother, a daughter caught up in her own daydreams and a son adamant on leaving the family set-up, the tragic play revolves around a family's hopes and dreams and the complexities of family dynamics. 5 - 21 August, King’s Theatre


Set in a 1970s seaside holiday resort, Shake reimagines Shakespeare’s much-loved comedy Twelfth Night. British-born director Dan Jemmett and his French-based theatre company, Eat A Crocodile, mix things up to create a playful pop-theatre piece where girl falls in love with boy, who loves girl, who loves boy (or is that girl?). Full of charm, belly laughs and irony. 11 - 13 August, The Lyceum

Yann Tiersen

Lauded French composer Yann Tiersen is perhaps best known for his romantic, fluttering soundtrack for Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s 2001 film Amélie. Here the multi-instrumentalist performs compositions from his vast catalogue of musical ventures, full of dainty melodies, playful tunes and uplifting scores. No wonder he’s been compared for classical composers Chopin and Satie. 21 - 22 August, The Hub


  • Words: Rebecca Parker