Created with Sketch. Created with Sketch.

The Opening Concert

Pappano conducts Italian operatic and choral masterpieces

The fiery drama of Italian operatic and choral treasures launches the Edinburgh International Festival’s 2016 Usher Hall concerts, in the first of a two-concert residency from Rome’s world-renowned Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia under Music Director Sir Antonio Pappano.

Praised for the brilliance and finesse of their hugely characterful performances, Pappano and his Orchestra are joined by four fine international opera soloists and the mighty Edinburgh Festival Chorus in Rossini’s dazzling Stabat Mater, a moving choral work blending the sacred and the operatic depicting Christ’s agony on the cross, conveyed in luminous arias and powerful choruses.

To open the concert, the Orchestra and Pappano contrast instrumental music from three Shakespeare-themed Italian operas: the rousing Sinfonia from Rossini’s Otello; the dramatic introduction to Bellini’s take on the Romeo and Juliet story; and stirring ballet music from Verdi’s Macbeth.

This concert will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on Monday 12 September at 7.30pm 

The pairing of Pappano and Santa Cecilia has proven itself as a major artistic brand of our time.


Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
Sir Antonio Pappano Conductor

Edinburgh Festival Chorus
Christopher Bell Chorus Master

Carmen Giannattasio Soprano
Marianna Pizzolato Mezzo soprano
Yijie Shi Tenor
Roberto Tagliavini Bass

Rossini Sinfonia from Otello
Bellini Sinfonia from I Capuleti e i Montecchi
Verdi Ballabile from Macbeth
Rossini Stabat Mater

More information about some of the artists

Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia

Sir Antonio Pappano

Edinburgh Festival Chorus

6 August 2016

This event was part of a previous International Festival and is therefore unavailable to book. The 2018 programme is now available to browse online. Click on What's On from the menu to see the full programme.

You might also be interested in

Eivind Holtsmark Ringstad & David Meier

Schubert, Schumann & Franck

BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist, the Norwegian violist makes his International Festival debut with a fiendishly virtuosic recital that showcases the viola’s lyricism.

17 August 2018

Viktoria Mullova &
Katia Labèque

Play Schumann, Ravel & Prokofiev

A  wonderfully eclectic recital of Schumann, Prokofiev, Takemitsu, Pärt and Ravel from the Russian violinist and the French pianist.

8 August 2018

Opening Concert

Haydn’s Creation

Josef Haydn’s explosive oratorio The Creation opens the 2018 International Festival. Edward Gardner conducts the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and National Youth Choir of Scotland.

4 August 2018

Catriona Morison
& Simon Lepper

Cardiff Singer of the World winner in recital

Edinburgh-born singer is joined by the brilliant pianist to perform a programme of Brahms, Schumann and Mahler lieder.

15 August 2018