Adams' opera, which will be performed by Scottish Opera and directed by Anthony Neilson, is about the 1985 seizure of the cruise ship Achille Lauro by Palestinian terrorists, and the execution of passenger Leon Klinghoffer. The work, with its libretto by Alice Goodman, has attracted some controversy. According to the Scotsman, the composer has been accused of anti-Semitism (he subsequently removed an evidently objectionable scene), and Boston performances of the work were canceled after September 11.
Swan Lake will be performed by Pennsylvania Ballet, which premiered the staging last year, and accompanied by the Russian Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra of Moscow Radio, with Vladimir Fedoseyev conducting.
The festival schedule also features a production of Benjamin Britten's Curlew River directed by Olivier Py, as well as Sumidagawa, the Noh production that Britten saw in 1956 on a visit to Tokyo and that inspired the opera.
Donald Runnicles will conduct the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in Verdi's Requiem for the festival's opening concert. Soprano Violeta Urmana, mezzo-soprano Leandra Overmann, tenor Ram‹n Vargas, and bass John Relyea join the Edinburgh Festival Chorus for that performance.
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 opera program 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 masque 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.