The Day We Sang, written and directed by Woods, will be performed at Manchester's Opera House, beginning performances July 6, 2011, for a run through July 16. According to publicity materials, it tells the story of some of the children who sang on the famous recording of "Nymphs and Shepherds" by the Manchester Children's Choir. The piece takes as its starting point a television documentary being made 45 years after the event, triggering memories of the day itself and the years in between. The four people taking part in the documentary reconnect with their child selves as they piece together their memories of that day in the Free Trade Hall in 1929. The piece will reconstruct the recording of the famous 78 of Purcell’s “Nymphs and Shepherds” and will feature a choir specially formed for the show by Manchester International Festival’s creative learning programme MIF Creative, working in partnership with schools in North Manchester. This new choir celebrates the spirit of the original Manchester Children's Choir which was formed under the director of the Hallé’s then musical director, Sir Hamilton Harty, to work with children who had little or no formal music training, “to carry on the musical traditions of the city.”
The Life and Death of Marina Abramović is a biography of the godmother of performance art, re-imagined by director Robert Wilson, featuring music written and performed by Antony (Antony & The Johnsons). The company will include Abramović, Willem Dafoe and an international cast of actors and performance artists. It will run at the Lowry, Salford, beginning performances July 9, 2011, for a run through July 16.
Also announced are two concert performances, over two evenings, of Die Walküre with the Hallé Orchestra, conducted by Sir Mark Elder, that will also feature The Madness of an Extraordinary Plan, Gerard McBurney's staged examination of the Ring Cycle, directed by Neil Bartlett. It will run July 15-16 at the Bridgewater Hall.
The full program for the Manchester International Festival will be announced in March 2011. Tickets for the first three shows are now on sale. To book, contact the box office on 0161 876 2198, or visit www.mif.co.uk.