While Exploring Culture and Conflict, Edinburgh Festival Will Feature Puppets, Flamenco, Opera and More

By Carey Purcell
18 Mar 2014

The world premiere of a new ballet, Handspring Puppet Company, the Paco Peña Flamenco Company and opera will be featured in the 2014 Edinburgh International Festival.



The festival, which runs Aug. 8-31, will feature more than 2,400 artists from 43 nations, exploring the relationship between culture and conflict in the centenary commemoration of the First World War.

"In Festival 2014 we bring together cultures from around the world to present an intense three weeks of intimate and epic theatre, dance, music and opera," festival director Jonathan Mills said in a statement. "I look forward to welcoming audiences from Scotland and around the world to Edinburgh this August to share in compelling stories from artists who are exploring and transcending conflict to create the most sublime and optimistic work." 

The festival will present the world premiere of the ballet Inala, featuring music composed by Ella Spira. The ballet is choreographed by Mark Baldwin and presented with live performances by Ladysmith Black Mambazo as part of a season of work celebrating the 20th anniversary of democracy in South Africa.

Ubu and the Truth Commission, based on the text by Alfred Jarry and the transcriptions of the South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Committee, will be remounted by Handspring Puppet Company.

The festival will also present The James Plays, three plays on three kings of Scotland, performed in Scotland for the first time in more than 40 years in the first co-production between the National Theatre of Scotland, the National Theatre of Great Britain and the Edinburgh International Festival. The plays are written by Rona Munro and directed by Laurie Sansom.

Opera performances include The Trojans, presented by Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Opera and Orchestra and directed by Yannis Kokkos; as well as Owen Wingrave, Benjamin Britten's opera written for television. Directed by Neil Bartlett and conducted by Mark Wigglesworth, the co-production between Aldeburgh Music and Edinburgh International Festival follows a young man struggling with his family's military history and expectations.

Thomas Bernhard's Minetti will be presented in association with Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and The Julliard School in New York.

Paco Peña Flamenco Company will perform the world premiere of Patria, a personal new work in music and song by Peña which was inspired by the poet, artist, playwright and musician Federico García Lorca.

The 2014 Festival marks the eighth and final year of Mills serving as director.

Tickets go on sale for the Festival to Friends and Patrons of the Festival March 19 and to the general public March 29.

Visit eif.co.uk for more information.