Marina Abramović

Manchester International Festival and Teatro Real Madrid present this world premiere.

By Lee Isherwood | Last updated 14 February 2011

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The Life and Death of Marina Abramović

Manchester International Festival and Teatro Real Madrid present the world premiere of a startling new piece for the stage: The Life and Death of Marina Abramović, a biography of the grandmother of performance art re-imagined by visionary director Robert Wilson.

The show features scenes from Abramović’s life and career, from her Serbian childhood to her work as a performance artist. Featuring original and traditional music, including songs written and performed by the incomparable Antony, this ground-breaking show brings together the worlds of theatre, art and music to thrilling effect. The Life and Death of Marina Abramović is a once in a generation cultural event, starring Marina Abramović, Willem Dafoe and and an international cast of actors and performance artists.

This is the first Robert Wilson production to be seen in the UK since The Temptation of St. Anthony in 2005. The New York Times describes Robert Wilson as – “a towering figure in the world of experimental theatre… an explorer in the uses of time and space onstage. Transcending theatrical convention, he draws in other performance and graphic arts, which coalesce into an integrated tapestry of images and sounds.”

Following the sell-out success of Marina Abramović Presents at MIF 09, which saw the artist leading audiences through an exhilarating four hours of live art at the Whitworth, her show at New York’s Museum of Modern Art has attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors. Her first UK retrospective opens at the Lisson Gallery, London on 13 October. Several of the artists from Marina Abramović Presents will appear in Life and Death.

The creative team and cast have been in workshop in Teatro Real’s rehearsal space over the last few weeks. Following the dates in Manchester in 2011 the show will run in Madrid in April 2012.

“We are pleased to welcome Robert Wilson to the Festival for his first UK show in five years, and to bring Marina and Antony back to Manchester following their appearances here in 2009. The Life and Death of Marina Abramović is an exciting expression of what MIF was created for – new work made in collaboration by some of the world’s leading artists.” Alex Poots, Festival Director, Manchester International Festival

“The opera art form needs to develop new ways forward for the future. This could mean, of course, new composers but also projects developed by great visual artists, actors or singers who do not necessarily need to be opera singers. For sure, Antony, for example, brings a lyricism that in conjunction with Bob Wilson and Marina Abramović will make this production a real opera, just as Monteverdi would have loved.” Gerard Mortier, Artistic Director, Teatro Real Madrid

Commissioned by Manchester International Festival and Teatro Real Madrid with Theater Basel, Art Basel, Holland Festival and Salford City Council
Produced by Manchester International Festival and Teatro Real Madrid

Sat 9 July 7.30pm
Mon 11 July 7.30pm
Wed 13 July 7.30pm
Fri 15 July 7.30pm
Sat 16 July 7.30pm
Tickets £15 – £39.50 (no per ticket booking fee; transaction charge applies)
Onsale 10am Friday 1 October 2010 via / +44 (0) 161 876 2198