Damon Albarn to open Manchester International Festival

Monkey opera will launch event

Damon Albarn is set to open the Manchester International Festival with his opera ‘Monkey: Journey To The West’.

The festival aims to bring together music, art and theatre and played host to Albarn’s Gorillaz residency at Manchester Opera House last year (November 1-5).

Festival director Alex Poots revealed: “Damon‘s taking the Monkey King story from China and turning it into a circus opera with a 45-piece circus troupe from China and Shaolin Monks and martial arts experts.”

The event will take place from June 28-July 15, and will also feature performances by Lou Reed, Smokey Robinson, Kayne West, Happy Mondays and PJ Harvey at various venues around Manchester.

To check ticket availability and get all the latest listings, go to NME.COM/GIGS now.