30 March, 2009

Off with a Bang

Festival Director Jonathan Mills in a Festival 09 themed taxi. Photo: Peter Sandground.

After finalising our extensive programme and putting the finishing touches on our striking brochure, Festival 09 launched with a bang last week. Here is a summary of what the press had to say about the line-up for this summer.

The Herald stated that “Peter Pan and St Kilda, Scottish Ballet and Scotland's last witch are all part of the potent brew unveiled yesterday … The Enlightenment, the development of thought, science and the arts in the 18th century, is at the heart of Mills's third festival.” Read more here.

As published by The Times, “a Faustian orgy staged in an agricultural hall near the airport, a Plasticine figure of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and a staging of a Monteverdi opera featuring giant puppets are among the 180 productions that will seek to conjure up the Age of Enlightenment.” Read more and view The Times Festival Highlights here.

The Financial Times noted: “The Enlightenment – a time of technological developments, philosophical provocations and scientific discoveries – inspired this year’s programme.” Read more here.

According to The Guardian,“The city's intellectual and philosophical history influences this year's programme, including a fiery Faust and a dance piece based on the songs of Bowie, Iggy and Lou Reed.” Read more here and listen to Director Jonathan Mills discuss the programme here.

Charlotte Higgins from The Guardian also commented: “The Scottish Enlightenment is the starting point for an opera-rich 2009 festival … I'm fascinated by the idea of Actus Tragicus from Staatsoper Stuttgart – which uses six Bach cantatas as the basis for a theatrical production.” Read more here.

STV pronounced: “This year's Edinburgh international Festival will celebrate the flowering of intellectual and cultural achievement that took place in the city in the late 18th century.” Read more here.

In Thom Dibdin’s opinion (Edinburgh Evening News), “There's a season of Brian Friel plays from Dublin's Gate Theatre to be looked forward to, however, the most exciting production is the EIF/Traverse co-production The Last Witch … I also imagine that Faust will be the big spectacle." Read more here.

Edinburgh Evening News also stated that “a soundtrack from the Holy Trinity of late-1970s rock will provide one of the biggest attractions of the 2009 Edinburgh International Festival.” Read more, including the Evening News Hot Festival Tickets, here.

According to The Scotsman,“The world premiere of a new play based on the story of Scotland's last executed witch tops the theatre bill … A recital by baritone Bryn Terfel, one of the greatest names in opera, will also be a huge favourite.” Read more here.

The Scotsman concluded:“It is homegrown productions – including a new play by a top Scottish writer and director about the last witch to be executed in this country – which are among the most prominent this year.” Read more here.

According to The Stage, “World premieres of new works from the Traverse Theatre and Scottish Ballet are among the highlights of the programme.” Read more here.

And finally, in the words of Scotland on Sunday, “In three years [Mills] has shown that the one thing we can expect from his programming is the unexpected.” Read more here.

We hope you enjoy browsing through our programme and discovering the marvels of Festival 09. Don’t forget that our box office opens at 10.00am this Saturday 4 April.

+44 (0)131 473 2000
The Hub, Castlehill
Edinburgh UK EH1 2NE

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