Posted in music on March 27, 2013
Monkey: Journey to the West
Damon Albarn has never had a problem proving his versatility. The Blur frontman's side projects have encompassed everything from cult animators to African drummers, so it seems apt that his latest attempt at a cross-cultural balancing act culminates in a teetering tableau of spinning dishes.Monkey: Journey to the West, created by Chen Shi-Zheng, Damon Albarn, and Jamie Hewlett will open the 2013 Lincoln Center Festival. It will have 27 performances running from July 6 - 28, which is also the span of the Festival.
Monkey: Journey to the West features music by Albarn with designs by Gorillaz collaborator Jamie Hewlett, and was conceived and directed by the Chinese opera specialist Chen Shi-Zheng. Co-commissioned by the Manchester International Festival, the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris and the Staatsoper Berlin, it's a high-octane, 90-minute rock'n'roll circus, performed in Mandarin and featuring over 50 Chinese acrobats, martial arts experts and a team of tiny contortionists so pliable they could have flown over as cabin luggage. - [The Guardian, June 2007}
The Festival also includes Sinéad O'Connor: The Gospel Sessions where the Irish singer explores the American gospel soul. That happens at Alice Tully Hall's Starr Theatre on July 26 - 27.
There's also Zorn@60, which celebrates John Zorn's 60th birthday with two concerts at Alice Tully Hall on July 18 and 20. The first night (7/18) features a female vocal quintet performing Zorn's Song of Song and his latest mystery play, The Holy Visions.The second night (7/20) features Zorn's complete string quartets performed together for the very first time.
Also at the Festival: the U.S. premiere of Karlheinz Stockhausen's Michaels Reise Um Die Erde which features German contemporary music ensemble musikFabrik (July 18 & 20 at Avery Fisher Hall); and Mongolia's Hanggai Band at Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse on July 16.