Sunday, 6 May 2007

DAMON ALBARN & JAMIE HEWLETT's Opera "Monkey: Journey to the West"

Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett latest collaboration "Monkey: Journey to the West" is an opera in nine acts based on the epic Chinese story. The Théâtre du Châtelet site describes it as "A magical work telling the story of the Monkey King, the most popular character of Chinese literature, who rebels against the Powers on High and declares itself to be a grand sage, comparable to Buddha."

Directed and adapted for stage by Chen Shi-Zheng with music by Damon Albarn and visual design, animations, and costumes by Jamie Hewlett, it also features 45 Chinese acrobats, Shaolin monks, Chinese vocalists, and the UK Chinese Music Ensemble led by Cheng Yu.

The opera is a co-production between the Manchester International Festival, the Théâtre du Châtelet Paris and the Berlin State Opera and is set to play at all these venues. Follow the links for scheduling and ticketing.

UPDATE: Alan Yentob will be presenting "Damon & Jamie's Excellent Adventure" on July 3, 2007 on BBC1. LINK

From the last single of the Gorillaz album Demon Days, here's the video for El Mañana:

here is a compilation of imagery from Jamie Hewlett's exhibition at the Design Museum(London-2006):


UPDATE(29.5.08): "Gorillaz collaborators Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett have created the opening sequence for the BBC's Olympics coverage. Based on the traditional Chinese tale Journey To The West, here the characters Monkey, Pigsy and Sandy stand by the Bird's Nest stadium in Beijing." - BBC

Monkey Journey to the West
Manchester International Festival
Théâtre du Châtelet
Berlin State Opera
Guardian Unlimited - 9 June 2007
Wired article 26 June 2007
BBC article 28 June 2007
USA Today article 29 June 2007
Damon Albarn
Jamie Hewlett
Monkey Train Gallery
Cheng Yu - UK Chinese Music
Gorillaz (Albarn/Hewlett)
Gorillaz Wiki

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