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Celebrating all things opera

European Opera Days take place from 5 to 14 May and a couple of companies coming to the International Festival this year, Scottish Opera and Teatro Regio Torino, are putting on special events celebrating the art form. Read on to find out what they are, and also learn more about our opera offering in August.


Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Greek returns, with a new staging, to the International Festival, as a co-production between Scottish Opera and Opera Ventures. Scottish Opera music director Stuart Stratford conducts and the production is directed by the brilliantly inventive Young Vic Artistic Associate Joe Hill-Gibbins.

Scottish Opera have a selection of performances and activities over the course of the European Opera Days celebration, including the opening of their new production on 9 May. Alongside this, they are hosting an 'unwrapped' opera taster session on 11 May for those who may be new to opera and want to know more before they attend a full production. They also have a dementia friendly performance on 13 May. Be sure to check out their website for full details.

Macbeth & La bohème

The International Festival’s 2017 resident company Teatro Regio Torino and their conductor Gianandrea Noseda bring two operas to Edinburgh this August. The first; Verdi’s dark operatic thriller Macbeth. This fiery drama was, in fact, the very first opera to be performed at the inaugural International Festival in 1947. Expect a ferocious score, brooding emotion and ghostly colours.

A photo from the opera Macbeth

The second of Teatro Regio’s offering, La bohème, is one of opera’s greatest, and most heartbreaking love stories. Visit the Festival Theatre on 25, 26 or 27 August to see a sumptuous, passionate, and visually magnificent new production of Puccini’s classic opera.

If you happen to be in Turin 13-14 May, make sure to stop by Teatro Regio and take advantage of the free guided tours of their beautiful venue (share the pictures with us on social media!). The company are also hosting a free concert by the Children Chorus of Teatro Regio and I Piccoli Musici of Casazza, conducted by Claudio Fenoglio, to celebrate 20 years of the foundation of the Children Chorus, as well as European Opera Days.

Die Walküre

The second part of the International Festival’s four-year Ring cycle, a concert performance of Die Walküre, is presented by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Sir Andrew Davis. Featuring some of Wagner’s most powerful, memorable music, this concert performance tells a profoundly human story of mankind’s emotions, frailties and dramas.

I can’t think of anything else in music that actually aspires to such power and such emotional complexity. 

Sir Andrew Davis on Die Walküre

Peter Grimes

The Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Edward Gardner bring a concert performance of Britten’s Peter Grimes to the International Festival this year. An immensely powerful work, this remarkably compelling drama examines gossip, rumour and mob rule in some of the composer’s most dramatic music.

Don Giovanni

Iván Fischer directs his own daring personal vision of Don Giovanni with the Budapest Festival Orchestra. Containing some of Mozart’s most irresistible music, the masterpiece is a story of lust and betrayal. The remarkable, provocative staging swings restlessly between comedy and tragedy to startling effect.

Ivan Fischer will conduct Don Giovanni at the 2017 International Festival

Monteverdi 450

Monteverdi 450 offers a rare opportunity to experience all three surviving operas by Claudio Monteverdi in this celebration of the 450th anniversary of the composer’s birth. The Monteverdi Choir, English Baroque Soloists and period performance pioneer John Eliot Gardiner come together for these directed performances in concert of L’Orfeo, Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria and L’incoronazione di Poppea.

Over the next week, we’ll be posting trailers, teaser, blogs and interviews to whet your opera appetite, so keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter!

Book your tickets now

We hope you are as excited as we are for all the opera on offer in the 2017 International Festival programme, find out full details of each performance below:

Greek – 5 & 6 August | Festival Theatre
Die Walküre – 6 August | Usher Hall
Don Giovanni – 9, 11 & 12 August | Festival Theatre
Peter Grimes – 13 August | Usher Hall
– 14 August | Usher Hall
Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria – 15 August | Usher Hall
L’incoronazione di Poppea – 17 August | Usher Hall
Macbeth – 18-20 August | Festival Theatre
La bohème – 25-27 August | Festival Theatre

Photo credits: 
La bohème © Virginio Levrio
© Franco Lannino
Iván Fischer © Marco Borggreve

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