First production announced for 2016's Edinburgh International Festival

First production announced for 2016's Edinburgh International Festival

Cecilia Bartoli will star in Norma at EIF 2016 / credit: DECCA / Uli Weber

Mezzo soprano Cecilia Bartoli to star in modernised retelling of Bellini’s Norma

After an incredibly successful first year under new director Fergus Linehan, who deservedly topped our Hot 100 for 2015, culture fans are already looking forward to 2016's Edinburgh International Festival programme. The first production announced is Vincenzo Bellini’s opera Norma which will run from 5–9 August, 2016, at the Edinburgh Festival Theatre.

Acclaimed Mezzo soprano Cecilia Bartoli will take the title role in Norma directed by Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier. Other cast members include John Osborn, Rebeca Olvera and Péter Kálmán accompanied by the I Barocchisti orchestra conducted by Diego Fasolis.

'It is a joy to be making my opera début at the prestigious Edinburgh International Festival with these performances of Norma,' Bartoli said. 'I look forward to sharing our new vision of Bellini’s masterpiece with the Festival public. It is a role that represents a milestone in my career and a production that is very dear to my heart.'

This will be a UK first for this modernised retelling, set during set during World War II, that made its début at the Salzburg Whitsun Festival in May 2013 and won the prestigious ‘Best New Production of 2013’ at the International Opera Awards.

‘We are thrilled to bring this remarkable reworking of Norma to Edinburgh where it can be enjoyed by opera fans in the UK for the first time, as well as marking the Festival début of Cecilia Bartoli,' adds Linehan. 'We look forward to welcoming Ms Bartoli and the Norma company to the 2016 Festival with this landmark production.'

Priority booking opens from Wed 11 Nov, and public booking from Sat 21 Nov.

Further announcements from the EIF 2016 programme include a performance of Mark Cousins' documentary Atomic, Living in Dread and Promise, for which Mogwai will perform a live soundtrack; new project Flit (working title) from Lau's Martin Green, White Robot, Portishead's Adrian Utley, Becky Unthank, John Smith and Dominic Aitchison (Mogwai); and a performance of Schoenberg's Gurrelieder with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Donald Runnicles and the Edinburgh Festival Chorus.