Yoko Ono, Idris Elba, and Skepta are all set to take part at next year’s Manchester International Festival (MIF).
Ono’s work, “Bells for Peace”, which opens the festival, will see roughly 8,000 members of the public form an orchestra of bells in Manchester’s Cathedral Gardens. Those members of the public interested in participating can sign up in advance, or turn up to play or listen on the day. The performance will also feature bells sculpted by the artist.
“The beauty of this piece will break the sky and more,” Ono said of the project. “More than ever, we must come together to heal each other, and the world. Peace is power!” the 85-year-old added.
Skepta, 36, will launch Dystopia987; a live performance by the rapper, alongside live guests and DJs, structured around a loose narrative set in a dystopian future.
MIF artistic director John McGrath has described it as “somewhere between an immersive theatrical experience and a futuristic rave.”
Meanwhile, 46-year-old Elba has collaborated with Kwame Kwei-Armah, the artistic director of London’s Young Vic theatre, on a musical theatre production exploring contemporary South Africa.
It will feature music from his 2014 album Mi Mandela, which was released to coincide with the film A Long Walk to Freedom, in which he played Mandela. Created for a standing audience, the event will feature musical performances, dance, film, and the spoken word.
The Manchester International Festival takes place every two years in venues located across the city. Next year will feature around 20 different productions, with more being announced in 2019. The festival will run from 4-21 July 2019.