John Eliot Gardiner to conduct West Side Story

Among the tutti-frutti at this summer’s Edinburgh Festival, just rolled out:

– the Bach specialist Sir John Eliot Gardiner will conduct two concert performances of Bernstein’s West Side Story with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and an unnamed cast;

– the European premiere of a new opera from Missy Mazzoli and Royce VavrekBreaking the Waves, adapted from Lars von Trier’s film;

– Barrie Kosky will direct a Komische Oper Berlin production of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin;

– Harry Christophers CBE, with Genesis Sixteen and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, will give the world premiere of Sir James MacMillan’s Symphony No. 5 Le grand inconnu;

– and there will be a new production of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, choreographed by Yang Liping and designed by Tim Yip (of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon).

Full prog here:



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  • Some ass kickin’ on stage between the Jets and the Sharks and possibly Sir John and the orchestra in the pit as well?

  • A little underwhelming as an overall programme. Opera is strongish, concerts vary wildly but usual warhorses still trotted out. I thought drama programme particularly poor.

  • [[ Barrie Kosky will direct a Komische Oper Berlin production of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin. ]]

    Excuse me if I’m completely underwhelmed? But luckily it’s not Barrie Kosky bringing his Komische production of West Story – one of the biggest wastes of two hours I’ve ever gritted my teeth through.

  • I’m sure Gardiner’s take will anger some people, but I also think he’ll be a lot less stiff than many other conductors who are all business and no fun when it comes to composers like Bernstein and Gershwin.

  • I wish I could be there to hear JEG’s take on my favorite musical theater work – Bernstein’s masterpiece.
    (snap snap) Stay cooly-cool, boy! (snap snap)

  • Okayyyyy . . .

    First we had Porgy and Bess from Nikolaus Harnoncourt. Now the noted Bach specialist brings us West Side Story.

    Should be interesting.

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