Karen Cargill, Anne Sofie von Otter, Florian Boesch & Soraya Mafi Lead Edinburgh International Festival Summer Digital Edition

By Dejan Vukosavljevic
(Credits: Nadine Boyd Photography/Cristina Haldane)

The Edinburgh International Festival has announced a virtual program for its 2020 edition.

In partnership with Scottish artists and national arts companies, “My Light Shines On” features original performances that have been filmed inside venues such as the Edinburgh Festival Theatre, The King’s Theatre, Leith Theatre, The Hub, Usher Hall and The Queen’s Hall.

“My Light Shines on” also features an outdoor light installation in which Edinburgh’s festival venues will be illuminated by hundreds of beams of light, reaching into the night sky.

“For the first time since lockdown, orchestras, ballet companies, traditional musicians, theatre ensembles and designers have come together to perform in and light up the venues they love. This has been achieved with great care to ensure the safety of all involved. It represents a cautious but essential step towards the re-emergence of the performing arts in our country,” Fergus Linehan, Festival Director at Edinburgh International Festival said in a press release. “The program of events that we announce today is not so much a curated season as a reunion – it is time for our artists to make theatre together, to play music together, to sing together, to dance together and to light up the skies together.”

The Royal Scottish National Orchestra will showcase mezzo-soprano Karen Cargill in a recorded performance led by Music Director Thomas Søndergård in his International Festival debut. The program will include Mahler’s “Ich Atmet’einen linden Duft,” Rückert-Lieder, and  Symphony No.7.

The Edinburgh Festival Chorus will present 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 masterpiece. The recordings will spotlight “O Fortuna” and “Ecce Gratum.”

The Scottish Chamber Orchestra will perform Beethoven’s Second Piano Concerto with pianist Paul Lewis in celebration of the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth. The festival’s archives will be 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.

Leading soloists and chamber musicians provided recorded performances from The Hub, heard in the surrounds of Princes Street Gardens. Soloists include tenor Nicky Spence, mezzo-soprano Andrea Baker, mezzo-soprano Catriona Morison, and tenor Mark Padmore.

The Queen’s Hall Series will feature mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter, mezzo-soprano Sarah Connolly, and Baritone Florian Boesch in recordings from 2014, 2015, and 2016 respectively.

Stuart Stratford conducts soprano Soraya Mafi and baritone Jonathan McGovern in a modern-day interpretation of Gian Carlo Menotti’s “The Telephone” filmed in the bar of the King’s Theatre. The Scottish Opera’s “The Telephone” and other films as part of “My Light Shines On” will be available on the Edinburgh International Festival’s YouTube channel starting on August 8, 2020.