Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary: the bard continues to inspire

shakespeare400 years on, William Shakespeare continues to inspire scores of playwrights right across the globe. The greatest English playwright and world’s pre-eminent dramatist was believed to have died on his birthday i.e. April 23, 1616. He was born on the same day in 1582.

Shakespeare’s work will feature throughout this year’s Edinburgh International Festival. The program for the three-week event will involve performances from almost 2,450 artists from 36 nations.

First appearances at the festival include Australian satirist Barry Humphries, Italian mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli and Scottish rock band Mogwai.

Audiences can celebrate Shakespeare’s work with international reimagining of three of his plays- Richard III, Twelfth Night and King Lear.

The Bard’s influence also extends through the classical music program, with Shakespearean-inspired music from Rossini, Bellini, Verdi, Berlioz, Strauss and Tchaikovsky in concerts at the Usher and Queen’s halls, where classical musicians will gather with 42 concerts and recitals.

“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,” festival director Fergus Linehan said.

Meanwhile, the bard of will be honoured with a new set of stamps to mark the 400th anniversary of his death. Royal Mail is publishing ten first class stamps featuring famous phrases from the playwright’s repertoire to mark the impact his writing still makes today.

Lines from Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, The Tempest, Julius Caesar, Much Ado About Nothing and Hamlet are included in the new collection, while a special postmark showing the dates of Shakespeare’s life will appear on letters as part of the commemoration this week.

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