Classical Music News for May/June 2011:

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND -- The Edinburgh International Festival 2011 has announced its opening concert, Robert Schumann's DAS PARADIES UND DIE PERI. Based on Persian mythology, the oratorio will open the festival on Friday 12 August, at 7.30 pm.

The Scottish Chamber Orchestra, with Sir Roger Norrington conducting and Christopher Bell directing the chorus, will perform the oratorio. The lead singers are Susan Gritton, Lydia Tauscher and Marie-Claude Chappuis (sopranos); Maximilian Schmitt and Benjamin Hulett (tenors); and Florian Boesch (baritone).

DAS PARADIES UND DIE PERI is considered by many to be a perfect musical example of the vogue for orientalism in Europe in the 19th century. For his oratorio Schumann sets a section of Thomas Moore's oriental verse-tale Lalla-Rookh and lavishes on it some of his loveliest choral writing.

The concert will be broadcast September 12 on BBC Radio 3's "Performance on 3."

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