Edinburgh International Festival reveals first performances and theme for 2024

The Edinburgh International Festival has revealed the first details of its 2024 edition, scheduled for 2-25 August.

Under the directorship of Nicola Benedetti for the second year, the festival is set to offer an enriching experience themed ‘Rituals That Unite Us’.

Building on the success of the 2023 Festival, which posed the reflective question ‘Where Do We Go From Here?’, the 2024 festival seeks to delve into the power of rituals in our increasingly fragmented world. The event will feature a wide array of live music, theatre, opera, and dance, focusing on the traditions and practices that forge connections and imbue our lives with meaning.

Opera enthusiasts are in for a treat with five operas included in the programme. A highlight is the renowned Carmen from the Opéra-Comique in Paris, presented on a replica stage of the original 1875 venue at Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre. Directed by Andreas Homoki, this production promises to honour Carmen’s 149-year legacy with an authentic ‘opéra-comique’ style. The stellar cast includes Gaëlle Arquez as Carmen, Saimir Pirgu as Don José, Elbenita Kajtazibi as Micaëla, and Jean-Fernand Setti as Escamillo.

The festival also celebrates international collaborations, with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra performing under Louis Langrée, the General Director of Opéra-Comique.

Another highlight is Assembly Hall, a dance-theatre work by Canadian choreographer Crystal Pite. This Scottish Premiere and International Festival co-production, set in a community centre, follows a group of medieval re-enactors at a pivotal annual meeting.

Nicola Benedetti, Festival Director, Edinburgh International Festival, says: “Next year’s Edinburgh International Festival celebrates the unifying force of collective live experiences. We continue to pursue an openness towards diverse perspectives, and in exploring ‘Rituals That Unite Us’, reflect our deeply human need to connect with one another.

“When beliefs differ, when we are not aligned over a shared singular fight, it is always an effort, always tricky, always messy. But this is what our festival was founded to do. People use the word ‘soft’ when speaking of the power of the arts, but to open hearts and minds is the toughest and most serious thing we can offer people. It all starts with belief and trust. We led with this feeling in 2023, and we will deepen it in 2024.”

Full programme will be announced with tickets going on sale in March 2024, with priority booking for members.

For more information, visit www.eif.co.uk.

About the author: Josh Darvill

Josh is Stageberry's editor with over five years of experience writing about theatre in the West End and across the UK. Prior to following his passion for musicals, he worked for more than a decade as a TV journalist.


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