Manchester International Festival and Teatro Real Madrid were proud to present the world premiere of a startling new piece for the stage at MIF11: The Life and Death of Marina Abramović, a biography of the godmother 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. With original and traditional music, including songs written and performed by the incomparable Antony (Antony & The Johnsons), this ground-breaking show brought 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 an international cast of actors and performance artists.
This was the first Robert Wilson production to be seen in the UK since The Temptation of St. Anthony in 2005.
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 a good expression of what MIF was created for – new work made by some of the world’s leading artists.’ Alex Poots, Festival Director
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
Robert Wilson Concept, Director, Designer
Marina Abramović Co-creator
Antony Composer and music curator
William Basinski Composer and music curator
Jacques Reynaud Costume Designer
Ann-Christin Rommen Associate Director
Wolfgang Wiens Dramaturg
AJ Weissbard Lighting Designer
Nick Sagar Sound Designer
Annick Lavallée-Benny Set Design Assistant
Julia von Leliwa Costume Design Assistant
Thomas Hescott Assistant Director
Svetlana Spajic Group (Minja Nikolic, Zorana Bantic and Dragana Tomic)
Life and Death followed 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 and her recent show at New York’s Museum of Modern Art which attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors. Her first UK retrospective opens at London’s Lisson Gallery on 13 October. Several of the artists featured in Marina Abramović Presents also return as performers in Life and Death.
The creative team and cast spent weeks in workshop at Teatro Real’s rehearsal space. Following the dates in Manchester in 2011 the show will run in Madrid in April 2012.
Commissioned by Manchester International Festival and Teatro Real Madrid with Theater Basel, Art Basel, Holland Festival, Salford City Council and deSingel.
Produced by Manchester International Festival and Teatro Real Madrid and The Lowry.
With thanks to The Metabolic Studio