The New York Times profiles Chen Shi-Zheng, who directs Monkey: Journey to the West at this summer’s Lincoln Center Festival, and calls him "opera’s new face." Read more about his work and the coming production of Monkey, created by Jamie Hewlett and Damon Albarn of the Gorillaz (previews start July 6, and show runs July 9-28).
(Photo: Gilles Sabrie for The New York Times)
“I had four very interesting journeys across China. Like two weeks at a time. We were taken to some very rural, untouched places far away from the crazy commercial growth aspect of China. Back to places that felt positively medieval. I listened to a lot of traditional music, too. One day I had lunch with a music professor in Beijing and I quite earnestly sat down with him and said, “So what advice can you give me as to how to approach this?” And he took me into this library and there were like 1000 books of Chinese folk music notated and said, “Well, you either do it that way or just … do it instinctively.” So I went for the latter.”
— Damon Albarn on what research went into creating the eccentric opera “Monkey: Journey to the West”, a collaboration between him and Jamie Hewlett.
Read more about the “Monkey” in Rolling Stone
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(Illustration of Buddha Mountain by Jamie Hewlett)