Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett have gone the way of The Who in joining forces with Chen Shizheng for the Gorillaz inspired opera Monkey: A Journey to the West.
The Mandarin-language opera is set to premier at the Manchester International Festival before travelling to Paris and Berlin. Monkey features a combination of martial arts, animation and video game elements as its central character, Monkey, gatecrashes heaven with hope hopes of immortality. Instead the gods punish and imprison him for 500 years. Redemption for Monkey is offered up in a chance to protect a young monk in search of sacred buddhist scrolls.
“It’s a proper opera and it’s been really hard work but it’s not meant to be some highbrow thing,” Albarn explained. “It has been a spiritual journey for everyone involved … And if it works, it could be absolutely extraordinary.”http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003604815