Arts & Culture

Edinburgh International Festival unveils 2023 programme

Featured Image: Nicola Benedetti/Edinburgh International Festival

Edinburgh International Festival has unveiled its expansive programme of music, opera, dance and theatre – the first programme under new festival director, Nicola Benedetti.

The festival will take place August 04-27 and will feature a programme of 295 events. Three central themes are set to underpin each week of the festival: ‘community over chaos’, ‘hope in the face of adversity’ and ‘a perspective that not one’s own’.

Benedetti said: “After we have celebrated 75 years of our festival, we now enter into a new phase of redefining, together, where we go next.”

Edinburgh International Festival will welcome artists from across 48 nations as well as three major artistic residencies with international orchestras. This will help to reduce the level of travel required for international artists. 

Highlights of the programme include Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater with performances of the dance company’s recent works and The Hub, which will be the Edinburgh International Festival’s home on the Royal Mile. The space will be taken over by informal events and concerts during the festival. 

The Budapest Festival Orchestra will be in residence across four concerts, while there will be three UK premiers in the form of Barrie Kosky’s ‘The Threepenny Opera’ from the Berliner Ensemble; Brazilian film and theatre director Christiane Jatahy’s ‘Dusk’ Which is based on Lars Von Trier’s ‘Dogville’ and Tiago Rodrigues’ ‘As Far As Impossible’. 

There will also be a substantial programme of Korean artists as well as immersive works ‘The Lost Lending Library’ from Punchdrunk Enrichment, which will welcome young people aged 6-11 into a magical travelling library. 

General booking for the 2023 event will open on May 3, with tickets currently on sale to members and supporters. 

Benedetti said: “’Where do we go from here?’ At a time of huge global change and challenge, we will hear powerful and diverse perspectives of artists from across the world.

“Edinburgh International Festival has long been dedicated to advocating world-class performing art and innovating new ways to bring it to audiences. I am immensely proud of this year’s programme, and look forward to expanding on this legacy in 2023.”

Iain Munro, chief executive, Creative Scotland, added: “As we emerge into a new post-pandemic world, the Edinburgh International Festival is perfectly placed to address the big issues of our times, just as it was when founded 76 years ago. 

“Nicola Benedetti’s vision uses our most vital universal language – the arts – to draw together world-class performances that challenge and inspire, affect, and entertain, placing Scotland at the forefront of the cultural calendar. Creative Scotland is proud to support such an exhilarating programme of home-grown and international artists.”