Edinburgh International Festival 2012 programme launched

EIF 2012 programme launch

NVA's Speed of Light

Highlights include Mariinsky Ballet, TEAM and Camille O'Sullivan

The Edinburgh International Festival has unveiled its extensive 2012 programme. With nearly 200 different performances to choose from, we’ve selected some dance, opera, classical music and theatre highlights you won't want to miss.

NVA's Speed of Light

Arthur's Seat is the setting for this innovative visual arts exhibition performance. The iconic mountain will be illuminated as hundreds of runners wearing specially designed light suits embark upon the intricate path networks below, resulting in a stunning visual display.
Arthur's Seat, Thu 9 Aug–Sat 1 Sep.


The Scotch play is relocated to a contemporary Middle Eastern conflict by TR Warszawa, complete with pyrotechnics and immersive video effects.
Royal Highland Centre, Sat 11–Sat 18 Aug.

The Makropolous Case

Janáček’s penultimate work is given a fresh production under the direction of Tom Cairns and Opera North, with an exceptional cast of soloists.
Festival Theatre, Sat 11 & Mon 13 Aug.


Choreographed and performed by Deborah Colker, Tatyana explores the thoughts, actions and desires of the four main characters from Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin.
Edinburgh Playhouse, Sat 11–Tue 14 Aug.

Waiting for Orestes: Electra

Cutting-edge Japanese theatre-maker Tadashi Suzuki brings a new staging of the famous Greek myth to Edinburgh, in which the whole of humanity unwittingly resides in a psychiatric hospital.
King's Theatre, Sat 11–Mon 13 Aug.


Dublin's Gate Theatre presents Samuel Beckett's comedy about a servant struggling to make sense of the world around him, adapted and performed by Barry McGovern.
Royal Lyceum Theatre, Sat 11–Tue 14 Aug.

Deborah Voigt and Brian Zeger

Celebrated soprano Voigt delivers a mix of romantic European songs and American vocal works, with accompaniment from regular collaborator, US pianist Zeger.
Usher Hall, Sun 12 Aug.

Antonio Meneses and Maria João Pires

A single, stripped back performance from Portuguese pianist Pires and Brazilian cellist Meneses, formerly of the Beaux Arts Trio.
Queen's Hall, Tue 14 Aug.

London Philharmonic Orchestra

Four performances that are sure to sell out instantly, with guests including powerhouse conductor Valery Gergiev, Ayrshire-born violinist Nicola Benedetti and tenor Toby Spence.
Usher Hall, Thu 16 Aug–Sun 19 Aug.

Meine faire Dame - ein Sprachlabor

Theatre Basel’s loose adaptation of My Fair Lady is set in a language laboratory, with an eclectic soundtrack featuring Maurice Ravel and Bryan Adams.
Royal Highland Centre, Tue 14–Sun 19 Aug.

Tristan und Isolde

Welsh National Opera music director Lothar Koenigs builds on his solid reputation for great Wagner interpretations with this production of the classic romance.
Usher Hall, Wed 15 Aug.

And Then One Thousand Years of Peace

French choreographer Angelin Preljocal brings his unusual apocalypse-themed ballet to the festival, following rave reviews for its runs in Moscow, Paris, Lyon, Amsterdam and Luxemburg.
Edinburgh Playhouse, Fri 17–Sun 19 Aug.

Homayun Sakhi Trio

Traditional music from Afghanistan as the Kabul-born virtuoso Sakhi leads his musicians on stringed instrument the rubab.
Greyfriar's Kirk, Fri 17 Aug.

Les Arts Florissants

The wonderful French baroque opera company haven't appeared at the EIF for some time, but they're back in 2012 with two performances: a run of Charpentier's David et Jonathas, and a show charting a brief history of the baroque movement.
David et Jonathas, Festival Theatre, Fri 17–Mon 20 Aug (not Sat); Les Arts Florissants, Queen's Hall, Sat 18 Aug.

Villa and Discurso

Guillermo Calderon explores the heritage and humanity of his native Chile with this double bill set during former President Michelle Bachelet's last days in office.
The Hub, Mon 20 & Tue 21 Aug.

James MacMillan

Composer MacMillan appears in two capacities at EIF 2012: his new commission with the Hebrides Ensemble will debut at Greyfriars Kirk, and his opera Clemency will have its Scottish premiere at the King's Theatre.
Greyfriars Kirk, Thu 22 Aug; Clemency, King's Theatre, Fri 31 Aug & Sat 1 Sep.

The Rape of Lucrece

Provocative interpretation of Shakespeare’s classic narrative poem by Fringe veteran and internationally acclaimed singer Camille O'Sullivan.
Royal Lyceum Theatre, Wed 22–Sun 26 Aug.

A Midsummer Night's Dream (As You Like It)

A world premiere of Dmitry Krymov's Shakespeare adaptation, presented by the Chekhov International Theatre.
King's Theatre, Fri 24–Sun 26 Aug.

Primer for a Failed Superpower

Fresh from winning the 2011 EIF Fringe Prize for Mission Drift, TEAM returns with a work-in-progress about the generation that grew up in the 1980s.
The Hub, Fri 24 Aug.

The Lady from the Sea

Scottish Opera's newest work focuses on a woman who must choose between her desire for freedom and her duty to her family. It features music from composer Craig Armstrong (whose work can be heard in the upcoming film adaptation of The Great Gatsby).
King's Theatre, Wed 29 Aug & Sat 1 Sep.


Vanishing Point’s latest opus is a darkly adult exploration of fame, stardom and desire in an Alice in Wonderland-inspired setting.
Royal Lyceum Theatre, Wed 29 Aug–Sat 1 Sep.

In a Locked Room & Ghost Patrol

Double bill based on a collaboration between acclaimed crime writer Louise Welsh and young Invernesian composer Stuart McRae for Scottish Opera.
Traverse Theatre, Thu 30 Aug–Sun 2 Sep.

Mariinsky Ballet's Cinderella

The legendary Mariinsky Ballet tackles a large scale production of Cinderella, with choreograpy by Alexei Ratmansky and music from the Mariinsky Orchestra.
Festival Theatre, Thu 30 Aug–Sat 1 Sep.

Australian Chamber Orchestra

Vibrant and stylish ensemble who play standing up to invest their performances with a sense of energy. Their performances peak with a heartfelt rendition of Grieg’s String Quartet.
Queen's Hall, Fri 1 Sep.

Check our events page for full EIF listings.

Edinburgh International Festival

Bringing world-class arts to the capital since 1947, the EIF sets the standard for classical concerts, opera, dance and theatre, while it's recently also added an excellent contemporary music strand. Already confirmed for 2019 is Ian McKellen who will perform a series of highlights from his remarkable career.

Various venues: Edinburgh

Fri 2 Aug

Times & prices vary / 0131 473 2000

Sat 3 Aug

Times & prices vary / 0131 473 2000

Sun 4 Aug

Times & prices vary / 0131 473 2000

…and 22 more dates until 26 Aug

Elsewhere on the web

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