Article Source: Edinburgh International Festival
First Published: 4 August 2020 10:19
Updated: 4 August 2020 10:22
Edinburgh International Festival, the world’s leading performing arts festival, today unveils My Light Shines On – a series of video works and light installations across Scotland’s capital to mark the beginning of the festival season and celebrate the enduring spirit of the Festival City.
Through a series of digital commissions, the Edinburgh International Festival is partnering with Scottish artists and national arts companies, spanning the worlds of theatre, music and dance, to film original performances in venues including the Edinburgh Festival Theatre, The King’s Theatre, Leith Theatre, The Hub, Usher Hall and The Queen’s Hall. All films premiere on Edinburgh International Festival’s YouTube channel on Saturday 8 August at 9:30pm.
The films include a personal love letter to Scottish theatre from the National Theatre of Scotland, directed by award-winning filmmaker Hope Dickson Leach and co-conceived with National Theatre of Scotland Artistic Director Jackie Wylie and dramaturg Philip Howard, along with Scottish Opera’s modern-day interpretation of Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Telephone, starring Soraya Mafi and Jonathan McGovern, filmed in the bar of the King’s Theatre.
The Royal Scottish National Orchestra features mezzo soprano Karen Cargill in a recorded performance led by Music Director Thomas Søndergård in his International Festival debut. The Orchestra performs a rich programme in celebration of Mahler’s 160th birthday. A series of films from Scottish Ballet includes new work from emerging choreographer Nicholas Shoesmith, as well as a revival of acclaimed American choreographer Helen Pickett’s Trace. The Scottish Chamber Orchestra presents Beethoven’s Second Piano Concerto with acclaimed pianist Paul Lewis in celebration of the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth.
My Light Shines On also features an outdoor light installation in which Edinburgh’s festival venues, including the Usher Hall, Edinburgh Festival Theatre, Bristo Square and the Castle Esplanade, are illuminated by hundreds of beams of light, reaching up into the night sky. Each venue will also be lit from within by glowing lanterns, which shine and pulse behind closed doors, celebrating the people and artists who play a key role in the festival community. Scottish lighting designers Kate Bonney and Simon Hayes have been commissioned to design the project.
As the beacons of light are visible from across the city, Edinburgh residents are encouraged to view the spectacle from their windows or a high vantage point, staying within government distancing guidelines and without gathering in crowds.
On Saturday 8 August 9:30pm, a one-hour gala film hosted by journalist and TV presenter Kirsty Wark and cellist Su-a Lee previews the My Light Shines On activity. This specially commissioned production is premiered on BBC Scotland TV and the International Festival’s YouTube channel to mark what would have been the opening of the 2020 festival. The film features famous faces from festivals across the years, and collaborations with Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Edinburgh International Book Festival and The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, showcasing Edinburgh role’s as the Festival City.
Other artists featured in the International Festival’s digital offering include violist Laurence Power with the world premiere of a composition by Esa-Pekka Salonen, West African supergroup Les Amazones D’Afrique, Declan, a reimagined version of Traverse Theatre’s multi-award-winning Mouthpiece, contemporary folk music group Breabach, a collaboration of pioneering folk performers led by fiddler Aidan O’Rourke and Glasgow indie rock musician Honeyblood.
From 10–28 August the activity continues with a chamber music soundscape in Princes Street Gardens each lunchtime from Monday to Friday. Each 40-minute specially recorded chamber music performance will be audible throughout the gardens, allowing socially distanced audiences to enjoy the music whilst having a picnic or taking a walk. Artists will include Mark Padmore, Angela Hewitt, Dunedin Consort and the Hebrides Ensemble. Videos of the full concert series, recorded behind closed doors in The Hub, will be released on the Edinburgh International Festival YouTube channel. Highlights from the concert series will be broadcast on Classic FM in a special edition of The Classic FM Concert with John Suchet and streamed on the station’s Facebook page. Classic FM is the UK’s most popular classical music station and has the highest Facebook following in UK radio.
The Edinburgh Festival Chorus features in the International Festival’s summer activity with a brand-new recording of Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana. From their own homes, over 120 chorus members have rehearsed and recorded their parts for two movements of Orff’s iconic masterpiece. The recordings and videos have been mixed together until the unmistakable grandeur of ‘O Fortuna’ and hopeful energy of ‘Ecce Gratum’ are recreated in all their richness. The two films premiere on Edinburgh International Festival’s YouTube channel on 8 August.
Highlights from the Festival’s archives are celebrated by a series of five Usher Hall concerts including Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra’s Verdi Requiem and Cleveland Orchestra with Franz Welser-Möst and Joela Jones. These will sit alongside 15 concerts from The Queen’s Hall between 10–28 August on BBC Radio 3 as part of BBC Arts Culture in Quarantine. The Queen’s Hall Series includes pianist Elisabeth Leonskaja, mezzo soprano Sarah Connolly, Trio Zimmermann and Les Vents Français. Full details can be found on the Festival’s website.
Additionally, Edinburgh International Festival is holding Artists in the Age of Covid – a range of digital conversations for the global performing arts industry, hosted virtually between 8–15 August. This series, in partnership with The Edinburgh International Culture Summit, seeks to explore the challenges and opportunities for the performing arts in a post-COVID world. International creatives discuss subjects ranging from the power dynamics exposed by coronavirus, to the relationship between organisations and communities, to artists reimagining the future and collaborations between different artforms to create work suitable for present conditions. Participating speakers include Chief Executive of Eden Court James Mackenzie-Blackman, curator of Glasgow’s After the Pandemic Summer School Graham Hogg, Artistic Director of Melbourne Arts House Emily Sexton, poet and novelist Jenni Fagan and Chief Conductor of Antwerp Symphony Orchestra Elim Chan.
The International Festival is partnering with all Edinburgh’s August festivals to create Faces of Edinburgh Festivals, a collection of portraits and interviews that shine a light on the people who help to transform Edinburgh into the Festival City every summer. This rich pool of stories about the individuals who bring the festivals to life, from performers and technical staff to taxi drivers and business owners, will be on display on posters across the city and on the Festivals Edinburgh website.
The Festival’s Learning and Engagement work continues throughout the summer, including a new partnership with Hermitage Park Primary School to provide an outdoor stage for learning, play and creative exploration. This structure will help to the school to embed outdoor creative arts in the curriculum and deliver a solution to the social distancing challenges facing schools as they re-open.
Additional events appearing in association with the Festival’s summer activity include Night Walk for Edinburgh by Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller which sold-out its premiere at last year’s International Festival and now can be safely experienced through its own mobile app, while Edinburgh Art Festival revives Peter Liversidge’s 2013 Flags for Edinburgh, placing flags reading ‘HELLO’ at venues around the city, including at The Hub.
In The New Real, The Edinburgh Futures Institute commissions two digital installations – Mechanized Cacophony from Anna Ridler and Caroline Sinders and Zizi – A Virtual Show from Jake Elwes – that reflect on humanity’s journey into the new real and how we make sense of differing realities. The New Real launches online on 17 October 2020.
Edinburgh International Festival also platforms a work from Festivals for Compassion, in which festivals around Europe come together in recognition of the severe difficulties they collectively face in the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Double bassist Nikita Naumov performs a specially composed solo from Greek-Dutch pianist Calliope Tsoupaki, available on the International Festival’s YouTube channel and the Festivals for Compassion website.
On 25 September, The Portal, a new podcast from Martin Green, Wils Wilson and David Greig, follows the story of lovers Etteridge and Angela. This audio tale of love, music, drugs and deceit features an original score from Martin Green – fresh from winning an Ivor Novello Award for Aeons – with contributions from James Holden (WARP/Border Community) and BBC Folk Award-winner Brìghde Chaimbeul. The Portal will be available on all major podcast platforms including Apple, Spotify and Google.
Rossie Stone, director and founder of Dekko Comics will take part in digital events in schools across the country for Maths Week Scotland (28 September – 4 October).
Glasgow Life, the charity that manages the city's museums, has appointed Miles Greenwood as its first Curator focussing on the legacies of slavery and empire.
Dobbies Garden Centres is raising vital funds for Macmillan's Coffee Morning this week, by hosting its own 'Raise a Cup' event at their Scottish stores!
Set those alarms... an additional seven nights of GlasGLOW are set to go on sale tomorrow morning at 7.30am!
Glasgow Life is now looking for a number of dynamic team players to join its Host City team for the postponed UEFA EURO 2020 European Football Championship in Summer 2021.
This year's Glasgow Coffee Festival is set to be the biggest ever as it takes to the streets for the very first time, in a bid to encourage Glaswegians to visit local, independent businesses.
itison has announced it's adding an extra seven nights onto GlasGLOW – the family friendly Halloween spectacular taking place at Glasgow’s Botanic Gardens this October!
Innis & Gunn, the UK's most recommended beer brand, has bagged Glasgow singer songwriter Mark McDonald the gig of his life – live streaming a show from the iconic Barrowland Ballroom stage!
GMAC Film is excited to announce Little Pictures and is encouraging filmmakers, who have never been commissioned to make a film before, with a passion to tell a story to apply!
Just when you thought your Christmas show had been cancelled, Horrible Histories comes to the rescue with their own unique take on the festive season!
Donut King - Australia's largest and most popular speciality donut and coffee retailer has set its sights on Scotland for 2021 when they'll open their first Scottish store in St. Enoch Centre!
One of the most legendary on-screen duos are reuniting after nearly 30 years for the third Bill and Ted film – Bill and Ted Face the Music, now showing at Vue Glasgow Fort!
Macdonald Crutherland House & Spa has seen a 25% spike in enquiries after launching a series of flexible wedding packages created specially to help couples get married following lockdown.
The walled garden at the National Trust for Scotland's Culzean Castle is now home to three new willow sculptures!
Set your alarms... tickets for itison's annual Halloween spectacular, GlasGLOW, go on sale tomorrow morning at 7.30am!
St. Enoch Centre is set to say thank you this September to those doing their bit to keep Glasgow safe during the Covid-19 pandemic with a £2,500 gift card giveaway.
Scotland's biggest trampoline and adventure park has officially re-opened in Glasgow, with a host of new safety measures designed to keep people safe when Flipping Out!
With the festive season in sight, the UK’s leading garden centre retailer, Dobbies Garden Centres, announces its Christmas events offering for 2020.
A new native woodland is set to take root in Glasgow with 20,000 trees to be planted on former pastureland on the southern edge of the city.
With ten of the best bars across the city in the Glasgow Cocktail Collective, you can count on the drinks being top quality!
Hard Rock Cafes Edinburgh and Glasgow are delighted to announce an exclusive emergency services discount as a thank you to frontline workers across Scotland.
To celebrate the Scottish Food and Drink Fortnight, The Lodge on Loch Lomond have decided to re-launch their Morning and Afternoon Tea's with an offer and a Scottish Twist!
itison have announced that GlasGLOW will return to Glasgow's Botanic Gardens from the 29th October to the 8th November with early bird tickets on sale on the 16th September!
St. Enoch Centre is welcoming students to the new academic year in Glasgow with a £2,500 gift card giveaway!
Erina's Kitchen is set to open their debut restaurant in Silverburn this month with a Scottish menu bursting full of exciting flavours!
To launch its brand new Oyster Bar, The Finnieston is hosting The Oyster & Whisky Festival this weekend.
The Dog Ate My Homework, CBBC's BAFTA nominated comedy panel show, is back for a eighth series and they need you!
Come fly with us in 2021! Join Team SBH Scotland for an exhilarating Charity Skydive at Errol Airfield, Perthshire.
Kids in Museums are delighted to announce that they are once again partnering with Walker Books on an exciting half term activity for families: Where's Wally? Spooky Museum Search!
Due to overwhelming popularity, Metropolitan Cocktail Bar & Restaurant have announced that they have extended the Eat Out To Help Out scheme, and there's a brand new menu to try while you're there!