Neil Bartlett, Willem Dafoe, Rufus Norris, Robert Wilson, Victoria Wood et al. Set for Manchester International Festival
Among the highlights is the world premiere of The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic, directed by Robert Wilson and starring Willem Dafoe. This theatrical biography of the so-called "godmother of performance art" features original and traditional music, including songs written and performed by Antony of Antony & The Johnsons.
Neil Bartlett will direct Wagner: Die Walküre The Madness of an Extraordinary Plan, a brand new dramatic prologue to The Ring Cycle, written by Gerard Mcburney, and featuring three actors plus the Hallé and Sir Mark Elder.
Rufus Norris will direct Doctor Dee, a new work composed by Damon Albarn and about Doctor John Dee, an astrologer, alchemist, mathematician and spy who served as inspiration for both Marlowe's Faust and Shakespeare's Prospero.
Writer-director Victoria Wood's That Day We Sang A Manchester love story - with singing is set in the summer of 1969, and follows Tubby, an overweight insurance man, and Enid, a buttoned up secretary, who were once singers with the Manchester School Children's Choir and are trying to reconnect with who they were then, and who they could be now.
Theater-related works will also include Punchdrunk's kids-oriented production, The Crash of The Elysium, created by Felix Barrett and Tom MacRae, and a new piece by Johnny Vegas.
Among the other performers in the festival are Mark Andre, Björk, Snoop Dogg, Rickie Lee Jones, Sinéad O'Connor, and Candi Staton.