Edinburgh int'l festival celebrates Shakespeare anniversary

The 2016 Edinburgh International Festival celebrates the 400th anniversary of the death of English poet and playwright William Shakespeare as his work resonates throughout the festival program announced on Wednesday.

Three theater companies present contrasting international perspectives on Shakespeare's work, with German theater maker Thomas Ostermeier returning to the International Festival with a reworking of Richard III in a production from Berlin's Schaubuhne Theatre, according to the program unveiled by Festival Director Fergus Linehan at a press conference.

Moreover, Cheek by Jowl, an international theater company founded in Britain by director Declan Donnellan and designer Nick Ormerod in 1981, unites with Moscow's Pushkin Theater for their international festival debuts with Measure for Measure.

Furthermore, British-born director Dan Jemmett and his French-based company Eat a Crocodile bring Shake, a five-piece re-imagining of Twelfth Night.

Shakespeare's influence also extends through the classical music program with Shakespeare-inspired music from Italian composer Rossini, Bellini and Verdi, French composer Berlioz, German's Strauss and Russia's Tchaikovsky in the festival concerts, said the press release.

The start of Edinburgh's festival season is celebrated with a free, public outdoor event on the night of August 7, which is named as Deep Time, a digitally animated artwork using the iconic locations of Edinburgh Castle and Castle Rock as the rugged canvas for projections and illuminations inspired by the city's past.

Scottish artists take center stage in a series of concerts celebrating contemporary Scottish music, and the festival also presents events for families and young people, including two contrasting dance theater works.

Edinburgh's summer festival season concludes on August 29 with the Virgin Money Fireworks Concert. Over 400,000 fireworks will burst into the sky above Edinburgh Castle.

Fergus Linehan said:"The International Festival is an invitation from the people of Scotland to people from all over the world to join us in an unparalleled celebration of creativity, virtuosity and originality. The caliber, ambition and passion of the artists and ensembles in this year's program combined with Edinburgh's electric Festival atmosphere, will make for an unforgettable experience for newcomers and International Festival veterans alike."

Running from August 5 to August 29, the festival welcomes 2,442 artists from 36 nations to perform in Scotland's capital city, according to the press release.

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