Edinburgh Festival follows the sun to the Americas

Wed Mar 17, 2010 1:27pm EDT
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By Ian MacKenzie

EDINBURGH (Reuters) - The Edinburgh International Festival (EIF) spreads its wings westwards this year to bring to the Scottish capital the flamboyant and exciting cultures of the Americas and Australasia.

"As these diverse cultures, separated by vast oceans, converge in Edinburgh, I hope you will join us to celebrate the synergies and revelations they offer," the festival's Australian director Jonathan Mills said at the 2010 program launch on Wednesday.

The program, which includes a rich offering of opera, dance, theater and music, runs from August 13 to September 5. Public booking opens on March 27, with online bookings accessible through eif.co.uk.

It opens with the oratorio El Nino by acclaimed American composer John Adams at Edinburgh's refurbished Usher Hall.

"Women's voices and experiences are central to this retelling of the (Nativity) story unusually seen from a mother's perspective," the program notes.

El Nino is also the name given to changes in the Pacific ocean current off the Peruvian coast which can have a devastating impact on climates around the world.

Other highlights include a production by France's Opera de Lyon of George Gershwin's opera of the American deep south Porgy and Bess; Gospel, rock 'n' roll and soul combined in the U.S. musical The Gospel at Colonus.

The world premiere of Scottish writer and satirist Alistair Beaton's Caledonia, about the disastrous 1698 Scottish attempt to colonize the Darien peninsula in what is now Panama will make its appearance as will the exuberant flamboyance of Brazil's Grupo Corpo dance group.   Continued...

<p>Performers from Japanese drumming troupe Tao perform during a media event ahead of their forthcoming show at the Edinburgh International Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland August 7, 2009. REUTERS/David Moir</p>