MIF 2011

First shows announced for Manchester International Festival 2011

Manchester International Festival, the world’s first festival of original, new work, today announces the first three commissions for 2011:
The Life and Death of Marina Abramović – a startling new piece for the stage: a biography of the godmother of performance art reimagined by visionary director Robert Wilson, featuring music written and performed by Antony (Antony & The Johnsons). Starring Abramović, Willem Dafoe and an international cast of actors and performance artists.

Victoria Wood’s That Day We Sang – a new play from one of Britain’s best-loved writers and performers: the story of Manchester Children’s Choir in the 1920s, told from the perspective of the singers brought together again in their middle-age for a TV documentary.
Die Walküre with the Hallé Orchestra – concert performance over two evenings, featuring The Madness of an Extraordinary Plan, an exciting new context for Wagner’s work: Gerard McBurney’s staged examination of the Ring Cycle, directed by Neil Bartlett. Sir Mark Elder conducts.

Tickets for all three shows go on sale today, Friday 1 October at 10am, via www.mif.co.uk / + 44 (0) 161 876 2198

“We remain dedicated to supporting great artists to realise their most ambitious work. We are working with artists from all over the world and right across the spectrum of art and culture, beginning new relationships with some and deepening existing partnerships with others. We are very grateful to our partners in the city of Manchester and beyond, our supporters, sponsors and audiences from near and far, who make MIF possible.”
Alex Poots, Festival Director

Also announced are details of the sponsors already on board for the 2011 event. Fundraising from commercial sponsors to date has hit £2.2 million, in addition to substantial public funding received from Manchester City Council, Arts Council England and Salford City Council. The roll-call of sponsors features several organisations returning from previous festivals, including PZ Cussons, Manchester Airport Group, NCP Ltd and Bruntwood. A new partnership is announced with The Co-operative Group.

Manchester International Festival is the world’s first festival of original, new work and special events and takes place biennially, in Manchester, UK. The Festival launched in 2007 as an artist-led, commissioning festival presenting new works from across the spectrum of performing arts, visual arts and popular culture with shows including Chinese opera Monkey Journey to the West and pioneering group show Il Tempo del Postino.

Among the 20+ world premieres in the 2009 Festival were It Felt Like A Kiss, an immersive theatre production by Adam Curtis and Felix Barrett with Punchdrunk; JS Bach / Zaha Hadid Architects, a temporary concert hall structure built for the music of Bach; Rufus Wainwright’s debut opera Prima Donna and Marina Abramović Presents, a long durational show curated by the grandmother of performance art. Concerts included a stirring collaboration between Elbow and the Hallé and an exclusive show from Kraftwerk with special guest Steve Reich; the Manchester Report brought advocates from all over the world to present creative solutions to the problem of climate change and the Festival Pavillion provided a hub for audiences to meet, eat, drink, listen to DJs and watch live performances.

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