New York, NY, March 27, 2013 – Nigel Redden, Director of Lincoln Center Festival, today announced the 2013 Festival’s line-up, which runs from July 6 through 28, 2013. Single tickets go on sale on April 8 for the festival, which will unfold in six venues on and off the Lincoln Center campus. There will be a total of 62 performances by artists and ensembles from ten countries.
Opening the festival is Monkey: Journey to the West, an extraordinary music theater collaboration based on the classic Chinese folktale “Journey to the West” which dates to 1592. Conceived and directed by internationally renowned opera and film director Chen Shi-Zheng, with music by Damon Albarn, lead singer of Blur, and design and animation by award-winning artist Jamie Hewlett, who, with Albarn, created the virtual band, Gorillaz, Monkey: Journey to the West will run throughout the festival with 27 performances in the David H. Koch Theater.
A theatrical spectacle, Monkey: Journey to the West follows the fantastical trek undertaken by a monk who travels from China to India seeking the Buddhist sacred scriptures. On his journey through an enchanted world, led by the irrepressible Monkey King, the monk and his magical animal companions have many adventures, both comical and challenging.
Damon Albarn’s score features washes of electronic sounds, brass fanfares, electronic percussion, and Chinese pop melodies. Jamie Hewlett’s designs, animations, and eye-popping costumes, are influenced by Japanese animé. And Chen Shi-Zheng’s thrilling vision transforms classic Chinese martial arts, circus acts, and acrobatics. Together, the three collaborators bring a dazzling, boundary-breaking approach to this timeless Chinese epic.
Commented Mr. Redden, “For its 18th edition, Lincoln Center Festival continues on its adventurous path with radically different ways of looking at similar subjects, new music from diverse traditions, and stagings as varied as their subjects. The Festival, as it has done since its start, again showcases the work of essential artists exploring their art compellingly.”
Tickets: Tickets are on sale to the general public starting April 8. Advance sales to Friends of Lincoln Center are from March 27 through April 7. For more information and to buy tickets visitLincolnCenterFestival.org or go to the Avery Fisher or Alice Tully Hall box offices, or call CenterCharge, 212-721-6500. Tickets for Monkey: Journey to the West are also available at the David H. Koch Theater box office.
Programs, artists and ticket prices are subject to change.
Monkey: Journey to the West
July 6-July 28, 2013
24 performances, 3 previews, David H. Koch Theater
Conception, Libretto, and Stage Direction Chen Shi-Zheng
Composer Damon Albarn
Visual Concept, Animation and Costumes Jamie Hewlett
Conductor Brad Lubman
Lighting Designer Nick Richings
Sound Designer Barry Bartlett
Masks, Prosthetics, Makeup and Wigs Bertrand Dorcet
Monkey: Journey to the West is a music theater piece based on a classic Chinese folktale “Journey to the West” which dates to 1592. It is conceived, written and directed by Chen Shi-Zheng. The composer is Damon Albarn, best known in the U.S. as the singer/songwriter in the band Blur. The designer/animator is Jamie Hewlett, who, together with Albarn, created the virtual band, Gorillaz*.
Over the course of this 100-minute, fantastical journey, the monk Tripitaka, travels from China to India, facing many challenges while searching for the sacred Buddhist scriptures. The mischievous Monkey King leads Tripitaka and his animal companion protectors, including a pig and a horse, in a series of perilous and comic adventures and misadventures.
The dazzling production combines elements of music theater, bold and stunning animation, and performances by Chinese vocalists, martial artists and the Jiangsu Yancheng Acrobatic Company. Damon Albarn’s original and compelling score uses washes of electronic sounds, brass fanfares, electronic percussion, and Chinese pop melodies. Jamie Hewlett’s designs, animations, and eye-popping costumes reference the world of Japanese animé.
Monkey: Journey to the West created a sensation when it premiered at the first Manchester International Festival in England in 2007. It was then performed at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris and at Spoleto Festival USA, followed by performances at the Royal Opera House in London.
Singer/songwriter/producer Damon Albarn is the recipient of four Brits, two Ivor Novello Awards and a Grammy Award. His second opera Dr Dee, co-created with Rufus Norris, premiered at Manchester International Festival in 2011. In addition to his work with Blur and Gorillaz, Albarn has released a number of recordings, including Mali Music (2002), The Good The Bad and The Queen (2006), Monkey: Journey to the West (2007), Rocket Juice & The Moon (2012) and Dr Dee (2012). He has also produced music for Gorillaz, Amadou and Mariam, written music for film soundtracks, and most recently co-produced Bobby Womack’s current album The Bravest Man in The Universe. Albarn formed Africa Express, a collective of African and Western musicians in 2007, and toured the UK with them aboard a train last September as part of the Cultural Olympiad.
Creator of comic book series Tank Girl and co-creator of Gorillaz, Jamie Hewlett has forged a distinctive visual style and a unique place in British pop culture. Tank Girl was his first major commercial success. Hewlett also conceived the visual concept behind the several-million-selling, multi-award-winning virtual band Gorillaz, which won him the Design Museum’s Designer of the Year Award in 2006. Other projects include the Bafta award-winning titles for the BBC’s coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Chen Shi-Zheng directed the epic Peony Pavilion for Lincoln Center Festival 99 and subsequently staged three other productions for the Festival: The Night Banquet, 2002; The Orphan of Zhao, 2003; and My Life as a Fairytale, 2005. His other opera credits include Monteverdi’s Orfeo with English National Opera; Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman and Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas for the Spoleto Festival USA; Mozart’s Così fan tutte at Aix-en Provence Festival; Miss Fortune at the Royal Opera House in London; and Nixon in China for Theatre du Châtelet in Paris. His first film, Dark Matter, won the Sundance Film Festival’s Alfred P. Sloan Award. For Festival 2013, he is also directing the chamber opera, Matsukaze (Wind in the Pines) by Toshio Hosokawa.
A truly global phenomenon, Gorillaz-singer 2D, bassist Murdoc Niccals, Japanese guitar prodigy Noodle and drummer Russel Hobbs-has achieved ground-breaking success in in popular music, and was recognized by The Guinness Book of World Records as the planet’s Most Successful Virtual Act.
Put together by Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett, the band’s eponymous debut album was released to wide acclaim in 2001. Three studio albums, Gorillaz (2001), Demon Days (2005) and Plastic Beach (2010) featured collaborations with a wide array of artists including Snoop Dogg, Bobby Womack, Lou Reed and Dennis Hopper.
Gorillaz has topped the charts around the world, hitting #1 in more than a dozen countries and garnering sales in excess of 13 million. The band has also received influential awards and recognition that reach beyond music including a Grammy and an Ivor Novello, a Webby Award and a Designer of the Year Award for Jamie Hewlett, and the Jim Henson Creativity Honor.
Monkey: Journey to the West performance schedule:
Saturday, July 6 at 8 p.m. (preview)
Sunday, July 7 at 2 and 8 p.m. (previews)
Tuesday, July 9 at 8 p.m.
Wednesday, July 10 at 8 p.m.
Thursday, July 11 at 8 p.m.
Friday, July 12 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, July 13 at 2 and 8 p.m.
Sunday, July 14 at 2 and 8 p.m.
Tuesday, July 16 at 8 p.m.
Wednesday, July 17 at 8 p.m.
Thursday, July 18 at 8 p.m.
Friday, July 19 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, July 20 at 2 and 8 p.m.
Sunday, July 21 at 2 and 8 p.m.
Tuesday, July 23 at 8 p.m.
Wednesday, July 24 at 8 p.m.
Thursday, July 25 at 8 p.m.
Friday, July 26 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, July 27 at 2 and 8 p.m.
Sunday, July 28 at 2 and 8 p.m.
Running time: 100 minutes
The Lincoln Center Festival 2013 presentation of Monkey: Journey to the West is made possible in part by the Asian Cultural Council.