You read that headline correctly: the Birmingham Royal Ballet have announced details of an official Black Sabbath ballet.
Premiering this September in the heavy metal legends’ hometown of Birmingham, the show is set to hit up Plymouth and London (dates to be announced) later this year. It will feature eight specially reworked Black Sabbath classics ("Paranoid," "Ironman," "War Pigs," "Black Sabbath," "Solitude," "Orchid," "Laguna Sunrise," and "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath") along with new music inspired by the band.
The reworked Black Sabbath ballet score will be composed by Tony Award winner Christopher Austin, Marko Nyberg, and Sun Keting. The creative team also includes lead choreographer Pontus Lidburg, additional choreographers Raúl Reinoso and Cassi Abranches, designer Alexandra Arrechea, lighting designer Kieron Johnson, and dramaturg Richard Thomas.
“I’m looking forward to seeing how this all develops!” said Black Sabbath co-founder Tony Iommi. “Black Sabbath have always been innovators and never been predictable, and it doesn’t come any more unpredictable than this! I’d never imagined pairing Black Sabbath with Ballet but it’s got a nice ring to it! I’ve met with Carlos several times and his enthusiasm is infectious. I performed alongside some of the dancers at the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony and they had an incredible energy, so I’m happy to go along for the ride with them and see you on the other side!”
The Ballet commissioner Carlos Acosta also had something to say. “Black Sabbath is probably Birmingham’s biggest export, the most famous (and infamous) cultural entity to ever emerge from the city – so I was naturally drawn to the idea of a collaboration between what most people might think are the most unlikely of partners. The band’s enthusiasm for the project is a huge endorsement. They are putting their trust in us to deliver something completely new and original, and that’s quite a responsibility but one that we are beyond excited to take on."
He continued, "Everyone in the BRB company is thrilled to be involved and we cannot wait to share the vision for the show in more detail in the coming months. I have hand-picked the creative team and will work closely with them to make a spectacular show.”
The ballet will play at the Birmingham Hippodrome from September 23-30. Show times and more information – including tickets – can be found here.
See Tony Iommi's announcement of the ballet below.
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