Edinburgh Festival 2019


The Edinburgh Festival 2019 is an umbrella term for all the festivals that take place here every August.

One of the biggest is Edinburgh International Festival 2019 – an unparalleled, city-wide, celebration of the performing arts held for three weeks from 2-26 August in Scotland’s capital.

This year, Stephen Fry and Sir Ian McKellen will be performing in theatre roles, and Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker and Scottish rockers Teenage Fanclub will be heading up the contemporary music offering.

The Edinburgh International Festival 2019 will also open with an amazing show at Tynecastle featuring Hollywood’s greatest movie music with a programme featuring soundtracks from cinema’s golden age and a selection from the world’s best-loved film composer, John Williams.

And the event will close, as ever, with the amazing Virgin Money Fireworks Concert in Princes StreetGardens with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.

The opening ceremony of Edinburgh International Festival 2019 will be held at Tynecastle Park

What are the highlights of the 2019 Edinburgh International Festival?

Los Angeles Philharmonic, led by its renowned conductor  Gustavo Dudamel, will open the Festival with the Aberdeen Standard Investments Opening Event  – a special free concert for 15,000 people at Tynecastle Park  celebrating Hollywood’s greatest movie music with a programme featuring soundtracks from cinema’s golden age and a selection from the world’s best-loved film composer, John Williams.

Sir Ian McKellen will celebrate his 80th birthday by recalling seminal moments from his life and careerin Ian McKellen On Stage – including performing in character as Gandalf.

Sir Ian McKellen will reflect on his many roles, including Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings

Stephen Fry will perform Mythos: A Trilogy , three gripping performances based on his best-selling book that bring to life the classic stories of ancient Greece.

Peter Gynt  starring Scottish actor James McArdle  (The James Plays, Angels in America, Mary Queen of Scots), in a new version by  David Hare  after Ibsendirected by Jonathan Kent,  in a major co-production with National Theatre of Great Britain.

Following the enormous success of Light on the Shore in 2018, the International Festival returns to Leith Theatre, hosting concerts from some of today’s most original voices including  Jarvis CockerAnna CalviKate Tempest,  Neneh Cherry, Sharon Van Etten and Teenage Fanclub.

Stephen Fry will be entrancing audiences with his tales of ancient gods in Mythos

An extensive opera in concert programme with all-star international casts including the final instalment of the International Festival’s  Ring  cycle, Wagner’s Götterdämmerung, led by US soprano  Christine Goerke; Puccini’s widely-loved Manon Lescaut with soprano Sondra Radvanovsky in the titular role; and Gluck’s  Orfeo ed Euridice .

A new version of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring by Chinese choreographer Yang Liping and Oscar-winning designer Tim Yip (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) and the world premiere of  Scottish Ballet’s The Crucible , the centrepiece of the company’s 50 anniversary season.

The European premiere of Roots by the critically acclaimed theatre company 1927 in a stylish blend of cinema, visual theatre, animation and live music.

Sydney Theatre Company’s multi award-winning staging of Kate Grenville’s novel The Secret River, which takes an unflinching look at Australia’s dark history.

Two concert performances of West Side Story   with an international cast and the  Scottish Chamber Orchestra conducted by Sir John Eliot Gardiner.

All of Scotland’s national companies contribute to 2019’s programme including the National Theatre of Scotland with Jackie Kay’s Red Dust Road and the European premiere of Missy Mazzoli’s Breaking the Waves by Scottish Opera, based on the Lars von Trier film of the same name.

Jarvis Cocker is heading to Leith Theatre

What else can you see at the 2019 Edinburgh International Festival?

Theatre :
James McArdle, Jackie Kay, Robert Icke, David Hare, Milo Rau, Suzanne Andrade & Paul Barrit, Stephen Fry, Ifeoma Fafunwa, Sir Ian McKellen.

Contemporary music :
Jarvis Cocker, Teenage Fanclub, Anna Calvi, Sharon Van Etten, Amadou & Mariam, Kate Tempest, Marcel Khalife, Neneh Cherry and more.

Classical music:
Gustavo Dudamel, Yuja Wang, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Sir Simon Rattle, Joana Carneiro, Joyce DiDonato, Sir James MacMillan, Long Yu, Angela Hewitt, Jeremy Denk, Lawrence Brownlee, The Sixteen, Alisa Weilerstein and Colin Currie.

Christine Goerke, Barrie Kosky, Iestyn Davies, Karen Cargill, Donald Runnicles, Missy Mazzoli, Sondra Radvanovsky, Sophie Bevan, Sir Andrew Davis, Asmik Grigorian.

Dance:  Helen Pickett, Yang Liping, Serge Aimé Coulibaly, Trisha Brown, Oona Doherty.
Visiting Companies & Ensembles:
LA Philharmonic, Komische Oper Berlin, 1927, Sydney Theatre Company, London Symphony Orchestra, Faso Dance Theatre, National Theatre of Great Britain, Deustche Oper Berlin, Orchestre de Paris, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, International Theater Amsterdam.

How many events and performances are going to take place?

The programme features 93 events, with 293 performances across 17 venues and 2600 artists from 40 nations including Australia, Nigeria, Canada,Belgium, China, Mali, Holland, South Africa, New Zealand, France, Germany, India, Scotland and the rest of the UK.

What are the Edinburgh International Festival 2019 venues?

The Usher Hall
The Usher Hall is one of the Edinburgh International Festival 2019 venues, and will host the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Scottish National Opera and the Orchestre De Paris.

The Queen’s Hall
The Queen’s Hall in Newington will host performances by Andreas Ottensamer and Yuja Wang, Christine Goerke, Europa Galante and Sheku Hanneh-Mason.

The Festival Theatre
At the Festival Theatre, you’ll be able to see Stephen Fry perform Mythos, Peter Gynt with James McArdle and Peacock Contemporary Dance Company perform Rite of Spring, and the Komische Oper Berlin will be performing Eugene Onegin.

Edinburgh Playhouse
Scottish Ballet will be bringing their version of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible to Edinburgh Playhouse during this year’s EIF.

Leith Theatre
Leith Theatre will host music performances by Jarvis Cocker – who is launching his new project JARV IS- as well as Neneh Cherry  and Teenage Fanclub.

The King’s Theatre
You can see Sydney Theatre Company’s The Secret River at The King’s Theatre this year, as well as Breaking the Waves by Scottish Opera and Oedipus by International Theater Amsterdam.

The Lyceum
The Lyceum will be hosting Hear Word! Naija Woman Talk.

Assembly Hall
Sir Ian McKellen will be performing Ian McKellen On Stage at Assembly Hall.


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