What to see at the 2024 Edinburgh International Festival

The Edinburgh International Festival: What’s On

Edinburgh is well known for its annual festivals. And it all started in 1947 with the first Edinburgh International Festival (EIF). Since then, this festival has grown into an all-encompassing takeover of arts in the city during August. The festival takes the best of theatre, opera, dance and music from around the world to create a world-class cultural event. And what better place to stay whilst you live and breathe the festival than Parliament House Hotel? We’re within easy walking range of most venues, and only a quick bus or taxi ride to the rest. So read on to take a look at what’s on at the Edinburgh International Festival in 2024.

Where to buy your tickets

The Hub is the home of the International Festival. An imposing church building beside Edinburgh Castle, at the top of the Royal Mile. Open every afternoon throughout August, you can visit here to find out what’s on and buy your show tickets. The Hub will also host a series of concerts and events on selected evenings. Remember, you can also buy your EIF tickets online or over the phone before you arrive.

The Opening Celebration

The festival opens on 2nd August 2024 with a large-scale event in the opening weekend which marks a new chapter in EIF tradition. More details can be found on the EIF website.

Opening Concert: La Pasión según San Marcos

Osvaldo Golijov’s captivatingly rhythmic La Pasión según San Marcos is one of four Passions commissioned to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the death of Johann Sebastian Bach. Internationally acclaimed conductor Joana Carneiro joins musicians brought together especially for this Scottish premiere of this poignant work. Find out more and book your tickets here.

Rituals that unite us

The 2024 Edinburgh International Festival will explore the theme ’Rituals that Unite Us’. Reasserting the need for reconciliation and the value of shared experiences in today’s increasingly disconnected world, this curated programme of live music, theatre, opera and dance will celebrate the practices, traditions and festivities that bring us together. The performance Assembly Hall explores this theme. Set in a community hall, it follows a group of medieval re-enactors coming together for their annual general meeting, but the line between reality and re-enactment begins to blur.

Soaring operatic performances

2024 will see five operas performed at the Edinburgh International Festival. These include Georges Bizet’s world-renowned Carmen from globally celebrated Parisian opera house Opéra-Comique. The cast includes Gaëlle Arquez as Carmen, a role in which she has captivated audiences since 2017. Other operas performed will be Così fan tutte, Oedipus Rex, The Marriage of Figaro and Capriddio, which is also the closing concert. Find out more about the operas here.

The Closing Concert

Written at the height of the Second World War, Richard Strauss’s final opera Capriccio is the 2024 closing concert. Capriccio is performed as an opera in concert, with a maximalist approach to vocals, and a minimalist approach to costume and set design. Find out more about the closing concert here.

Something for everyone – the Family Concert

Children and their grown-ups are invited to encounter a classical programme that playfully explores how composers are drawn to portraying animals of all shapes and sizes in their music. In collaboration with the Philharmonia, Festival Director Nicola Benedetti is the solo violinist in this relaxed, family-friendly performance of Ralph Vaughan Williams’s masterpiece The Lark Ascending alongside other beloved classics. Book your tickets to see the family concert here.

Explore the programme

Discover hidden gems and performances you love and see what’s on at the Edinburgh International Festival. Take a look at the full programme here and book your tickets online. And remember to book your room with us in advance to give you the best seats in the house!