Three-Week Edinburgh Festival Includes Wheeldon's Swan Lake and Controversial Klinghoffer

Classic Arts News   Three-Week Edinburgh Festival Includes Wheeldon's Swan Lake and Controversial Klinghoffer
 
The Edinburgh International Festival, which presents classical music, theater, dance, and opera, opens tonight with a performance of the Verdi Requiem by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

The orchestra will be led by Donald Runnicles; soprano Violeta Urmana, mezzo-soprano Leandra Overmann, tenor Salvatore Licitra, and bass John Relyea join the Edinburgh Festival Chorus.

Highlights of the three-week festival include the Pennsylvania Ballet performing Christopher Wheeldon's Swan Lake, accompanied by the Russian Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra of Moscow Radio, and John Adams' opera The Death of Klinghoffer, which will have its British premiere at the festival.

Adams' work, about the 1985 seizure of the cruise ship Achille Lauro by Palestinian terrorists, and the execution of passenger Leon Klinghoffer, has already attracted controversy, as Rabbi Abraham Cooper from the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles has called for the work's boycott. Cooper was outraged by reports that production includes chorus members planted in among the audience, carrying submachine guns, and eventually storming the stage.

Other concerts include Daniel Barenboim conducting the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, Jir‹ Belohlšvek conducting the Royal Scottish National Orchestra in Mahler's Ninth Symphony, Ingo Metzmacher conducting the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester, and the Hebrides Ensemble playing a program of works by Elliott Carter.

The schedule also includes concert performances of Mozart's La clemenza di Tito and Zaide, Rossini's Adelaide di Borgogna, Benda's Ariadne auf Naxos, and Wagner's Tristan und Isolde. Andr_ Messenger's L'Amour masqu_ gets a staged performance from Opera de Tours.

On the dance schedule, La Compagnie FV presents Contre Coup, a dance based on William Faulker's Absalom, Absalom!; the Scottish Ballet presents a program of Balanchine works accompanied by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra; and the Dutch National Ballet performs with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

The festival runs through September 3, at various Edinburgh venues.

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