Edinburgh International festival builds bridge east
Theatre, dance and music from the Far East will be on show in the east of Scotland as the Edinburgh International Festival begins later. Festival director Jonathan Mills said he was trying to build an “exquisite bridge” between the cultures of Asia and the cultures of Europe.
Mr Mills said: “The cultures of Asia should be every bit as important to us as the economies are.” He said it was important to understand the attitudes and philosophies of Asia.
The international festival differs from the Edinburgh Fringe, which began last week, in that all the companies are selected and invited by the director. Now in its 65th year, the international festival presents a rich programme of classical music, theatre, opera and dance in six major theatres and concert halls and a number of smaller venues.
The Usher Hall will host the festival’s opening concert, Schumann’s Das Paradies und die Peri, the story of a fallen angel’s salvation. The opening weekend includes large-scale productions such as the National Ballet of China’s The Peony Pavilion and Mokwha Repertory Company’s version of Shakespeare’s Tempest. There is also a one-man King Lear at the Lyceum and Philip Glass’s debut at the Playhouse.
Mr Mills told BBC Scotland: “We have set a very big challenge to audiences but it is one they are responding to magnificently, with excitement.