"LIKE a Scottish company receiving an award for performing Traviata in Milan," was Maestro Gianandrea Noseda's coals-to-Newcastle assessment of winning a Herald Angel award for the new production of Verdi's Macbeth, based on Shakespeare's "Scottish play", at this year's Edinburgh International Festival.

The conductor and music director of Teatro Regio from Turin joined the company's artistic director Gaston Fournier Facio and general manager Walter Vergnano to accept the award, presented on our behalf by Fergus Linehan, director and chief executive of the Festival, at the final Herald Angels ceremony of 2017. Revived with the support of our new partners Edinburgh Festival Theatre, who host the event in their foyer, the awards this week spanned all art forms and beyond.

Our Archangel award, for achievement over a sustained period, went to the Festival's Head of Creative Learning, Sally Hobson, who is leaving the Festival after a career building its outreach and education work into a formidable, diverse and much-admired operation. Having undertaken a creative fellowship a decade ago which underpins the Festival's philosophy on developing the innate gifts within every child it encounters, Hobson has overseen a range of projects that include The Herald Young Critics project and a continuing partnership with Castlebrae Community High School that helped save it from closure. She began working with the festival in 1994 on an outreach project with the Mark Morris Dance Group, and has since created other projects with San Francisco Ballet and Martha Graham Dance, before taking Blue Boy hip hop dancers to Castlebrae this year. Her department's other initiatives have included opera singing in libraries, the Fanfare brass band project in city parks and choral pop in art galleries.

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Playwright Zinnie Harris received a Herald Angel for her three plays that formed the core of the EIF drama programme this year. Alongside a new two-hander, Meet Me At Dawn at the Traverse, the Royal Lyceum saw stagings of her adaptation of Ionesco's Rhinoceros and a revival of the Citizen's Theatre production of her re-interpretation of The Oresteia of Aeschylus: This Restless House. Harris paid tribute to the three directors, Orla O'Loughlin, Murat Daltaban and Dominic Hill, who had brought her work to the stage.

Although the company has now returned home, Nederlands Dans Theater choreographers Paul Lightfoot and Sol Leon sent a message of thanks to our gathering for the Angel award for the triple bill the company performed at the Playhouse. NDT are previous winners of Angel and Archangel awards, and they described the company's return to Edinburgh as a "homecoming" and a "magical experience", and looked forward to being invited back to the Festival very soon.

The sole Fringe Angel this week was awarded to veteran dancer Velda Setterfield, whose career includes work with Mikhail Baryshnikov and former Archangel winner Merce Cunningham, for her performance in gender-reversed Shakespeare adaptation Lear at Dance Base, created by Ireland's John Scott Dance.

The largest ensemble present on Saturday came from theatre company Vox Motus, whose remarkable installation Flight is a the Church Hill Theatre. With a text by playwright Oliver Emmanuel and soundtrack by Mark Melville, directors Candice Edmunds and Jamie Harrison recruited a huge team of model-makers to create a diorama three-dimensional picture-book version of Caroline Brothers's novel Hinterland, which draws on her journalistic coverage of young migrants from Afghanistan. The unique piece looks set to travel internationally from its Edinburgh Festival premiere.

Saturday was also decision-day for the winner of the Wee Cherub award for the best our Young Critics, with pupils from Holyrood High School filing their reviews of Teatro Regio's other opera in Edinburgh, La boheme. The authors of two of the reviews we have printed, Kat Robertson from Boroughmuir and Ethan Gillespie from Broughton, who had both attended the Usher Hall concert by the Mariinsky Orchestra and the RSNO, joined us on Saturday. However the winner of the 2017 Cherub, for her review of the NDT triple bill, is Issy Butt from Portobello High School. All the reviews by the young people can still be seen online at heraldscotland.com.