With rumors of Blur reuniting, and the formation of two powerhouse super groups (Gorillaz and The Good, The Bad & The Queen), one would think Mr. Damon Albarn would have his plate full. Luckily for us, this is not so. Now it appears that Damon is going to premiere his Monkey King opera this summer at the Manchester International Festival.
According to The Guardian, Albarn's opera has been commissioned by the first Manchester International that is taking place June 28-July 15, 2007. The opera is loosely based on the Chinese legend of the Monkey King's enlightenment, and a new cantata, with a silent film that will be performed by the Halle Orchestra and Chorus. Traditional Chinese and western instruments will be used in addition to some newly invented ones created for the opera. Keeping things in the family, the animations were created by the fabulous Jamie Hewlett (Gorillaz, Tank Girl). Forty Chinese circus acrobats, singers and martial arts performers will also be on hand.
While the details are still being sussed out, the event plans to market itself as the "first international festival of original new work." For more information on the event, be sure and check out their official website.
Manchester International Festival