Lifting the Curtain: Moving from Virtual to Real Theatre, Opera, Ballet
14 July 2021
The arts scene is finally set to ramp back up in Edinburgh and wow audiences across the city with a dazzling array of performances, from Scottish Opera’s Falstaff to the Four Seasons, by Candlelight. In August, the Edinburgh International Festival, with over 170 performances, will kick off with a large-scale fire nightwalk, created by French artist collective Compagnie Carabosse in the Royal Botanic Gardens.
Perfect for… Classical Music Lovers
The Four Seasons, by Candlelight
A candlelit St Giles’ Cathedral will form the backdrop for musicians from the Piccadilly Sinfonietta - one of the UK’s most enthralling ensembles - to deliver Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons. Featuring award-winning concert pianist Warren Mailley-Smith, a favourite performer for the British Royal Family and the first person to perform Chopin’s complete works from memory, the concert also includes timeless pieces by Handel and Bach.
16 July 2021 | St Giles’ Cathedral | 10 min taxi from The Balmoral
Perfect for… A Family Adventure
The Fringe Festival
Known as the world’s biggest arts festival, The Fringe is back for three weeks in August, with theatre, comedy, dance, opera, musicals, exhibitions and more. The Fringe hosts both up-coming artists and established names; many artists got their big break here from Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie to Rowan Atkinson and Emma Thompson. The festival’s history dates back to 1947, when theatre groups put on their own productions outside the regular programme; the shows became known as the ‘fringe’ and many more performers followed in their footsteps until the Festival Fringe Society was set up in 1958.
06 - 30 August 2021 | Edinburgh, various locations
Perfect for… An Amusing Date Night
Falstaff, Scottish Opera
Scottish Opera is back in full force this summer with a new vibrant outdoor production from renowned Scottish Opera director Sir David McVicar. Verdi’s comic opera, adapted from Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor, sees the bawdy and mischievous Sir John Falstaff, who is in desperate need of cash, trying to seduce two married women to gain access to their husband’s wealth. Verdi’s boisterous swansong is a celebration of life and it is delightfully funny - the women end up getting their revenge and hatch a plan to teach him a lesson. McVicar’s magnificent seventeenth century costumes and set are inspired by Jacobean theatre.
8, 10, 12, 14 August 2021 | Edinburgh Festival Theatre | 5 min taxi from The Balmoral
Perfect for… Culture Vultures
The Soldier’s Tale
Stravinksy’s bizarre, joyous Faustian fable, The Soldier’s Tale, will be presented by superb violin player Nicola Benedetti, who won the GRAMMY Award for Best Classical Instrumental Solo in 2020, as well as Best Female Artist at both 2012 and 2013 Classical BRIT Awards. Conceived at the time of the Spanish flu, it tells the story of a deserting soldier whose soul is possessed by the Devil, and fuses theatre, dance and music. It is Benedetti’s final performance as the International Festival’s 2021 resident artist and she will be joined by an extraordinary ensemble of musicians to bring this dark tale to life.
21 August 2021 | Edinburgh Academy Junior School | 10 min taxi from The Balmoral
Perfect for… Something a Little Different
Spectators will be transported to the otherworldly landscapes of Iceland when they see Damon Albarn performing his moving new project The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows. He’ll be joined by a band and string quartet and this is a rare solo appearance you won’t want to miss. Albarn, former lead singer of Brit pop band Blur and the mastermind behind Gorrilaz, was inspired by the landscapes of Iceland, which he has been visiting for three decades. He wrote and workshopped the music in Iceland and last year streamed the performance from his makeshift studio in Devon. It features music from this new work as well as songs from his extensive catalogue.
24 August 2021 | Edinburgh Park | 30 min taxi from The Balmoral
Perfect for… An Empowering Performance
Gambian kora virtuoso Sona Jobarteh is making a special appearance with her five-piece band to wow us with soothing sounds and ancient stories through her kora - a 21-stringed African harp. The first professional female kora player in The Gambia, Jobarteh has composed cinematic scores for various Hollywood films and has collaborated with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, as well as headlining music festivals around the world. She also set up a music school in The Gambia to empower Africans to reform their countries through music.
26 August 2021 | Edinburgh Academy Junior School | 10 min taxi from The Balmoral
As opera, dance and theatre performances return to Edinburgh’s stages, The Balmoral makes the perfect base. Get in touch with our dedicated concierge team at email@example.com or call +44 131 556 2414 and we’ll be delighted to help you discover the best of the city’s creative scene.
Credit: Gemma Summerfield and Roland Wood at Falstaff Dress Rehearsal. Scottish Opera 2021. Credit James Glossop; Street performance at the Fringe. Credit David Monteith-Hodge; Sona Jobarteh. Credit Dan Piers