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The Programme: Manchester International Festival, 4 to 21 July 2013

Big names come to play in the city this summer

Written by . Published on February 28th 2013.

The Programme: Manchester International Festival, 4 to 21 July 2013

MANCHESTER International Festival, 4 to 21 July 2013, the world’s only festival of original new work and special events, presented biennially, has announced its 2013 programme which runs from 4 to 21 July 2013. 

Once again Albert Square will become the heart of MIF: visit for locally-sourced food and drink and the best of UK street food, soundtracked by free outdoor music.

Featured artists include Massive Attack, Adam Curtis, Maxine Peake, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Willem Dafoe, Abida Parveen, Kenneth Branagh, Matthew Barney, Goldfrapp, The xx, Richard Wentworth, Mogwai, Tino Sehgal, Jamal Edwards, Robert Wilson, John Tavener, M O N E Y, Peter Sellars, James Murphy, Martha Argerich, Teodor Currentzis, Romeo Castellucci, Neneh Cherry and many more. 

Mif'13 Willem DafoeMif'13 Willem Dafoe

The programme ranges widely to include premieres of new commissions and re-envisioned classic works, as well as a series of unique concerts and one-off events.

Kenneth Branagh will return to Shakespeare after more than 10 years, in the title role of Macbeth, staged in a deconsecrated church; and Salford-born Josie Rourke, Artistic Director of the Donmar Warehouse, will direct The Machine, a play written by award-winning playwright Matt Charman, exploring chess player Garry Kasparov’s battle with the supercomputer Deep Blue. 

The Festival will present work in some of Manchester’s historic industrial spaces, many being transformed specially for the programme. Manchester’s spectacular Mayfield Depot was originally built as a train station but has been empty for many years. Mayfield is the setting for Tino Sehgal who will follow his Tate Modern success with a series of works programmed with Hans Ulrich Obrist, Asad Raza and Manchester International Festival director Alex Poots. 

Mayfield will provide the location for Romeo Castellucci, Teodor Currentzis and the Perm Opera’s radical new interpretation of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, taking the original dance piece and remaking it as a theatre and dance installation, complete with bone powder and a 100-piece orchestra. The depot also forms the backdrop for Massive Attack v Adam Curtis, a meeting of music, film and illusion in ‘a collective hallucination’. 

Local star Maxine Peake will perform in Sarah Frankcom’s new interpretation of Shelley’s epic poem The Masque of Anarchy, Britain’s greatest political poem. It will be set in the atmospheric Albert Hall chapel which will open to the public for the first time in 40 years. The same venue will also play host to director Peter Sellars’ production of Michelangelo Sonnets performed by Eric Owens and Cameron Carpenter. 

Mif'13 Neneh CherryMif'13 Neneh Cherry

Many of the world’s leading artists, including Tracey Emin, John Baldessari and Sarah Lucas, are taking part in do it 20 13, curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist. Housed in a space designed specially by artist Richard Wentworth, do it 20 13 takes as its starting point a series of written instructions by artists and is spread over 4 rooms, one of which will feature 20 instructions by deceased do it artists, realised especially for Manchester by 20 living artists. 

Mercury Prize-winning band The xx will be in residence at a hidden space in the city centre throughout the Festival; and performance artist Nikhil Chopra will present a 65-hour long performance at the Whitworth Art Gallery exploring Manchester’s historic trade connections with Mumbai.

The Festival also presents a series of collaborations which bring together some of the world’s leading artists: Willem Dafoe shares a stage with legendary dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov in Robert Wilson’s new production The Old Woman. Matthew Barney presents a special preview of excerpts from his new film River of Fundament, made in collaboration with composer Jonathan Bepler; and Neneh Cherry appears with electronic outfit RocketNumberNine, performing their new album in its entirety for the first time. 

Mif '13 Mikhail BaryshnikovMif '13 Mikhail Baryshnikov

The Festival also presents a number of one-off events. World-renowned pianist Martha Argerich joins Gábor Takács-Nagy and Manchester Camerata for a special performance of Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 1. John Tavener will be the focus for an evening of works, including three world premieres, played by the BBC Philharmonic and conducted by Tecwyn Evans. Sufi-singer Abida Parveen, one of the world’s greatest spiritual singers, will play a special concert at the Bridgewater Hall, and Evan Davies chairs Are We Powerless?, an afternoon of discussion and interrogation into the causes, effects and solutions of the global financial crisis. 

Mif'13 Martha ArgerichMif'13 Martha Argerich

MIF Creative, the Festival’s creative learning programme, is all about collaborative projects giving local communities opportunities to get involved in the development of artistic productions. 

Events include Belgian theatre director Inne Goris’ work for children and families, transforming Manchester’s Town Hall for Once Upon a Story, a series of shows that bring together dance, performance and visual art; and The Biospheric Project, which turns a derelict mill on the banks of the River Irwell into an experimental agricultural space. Designed as a legacy commission, with a programme of related events and special activities for schools and families, the project will continue beyond 2013 as a research space for sustainable food systems and future urban living. 

Other highlights include entrepreneur Jamal Edwards and SB.TV bringing cutting-edge comedy and music to the Festival’s Pavilion Theatre; Goldfrapp premiering their forthcoming album; Mogwai performing their original soundtrack to Zidane, a 21st Century Portrait for the first time, alongside a screening of the film; Bestival creator Rob da Bank presenting a musical A-Z of Manchester over four nights; rising Mancunian band M O N E Y playing their debut album live for the first time; and Delphic reworking their sophomore album, Collections, with a variety of musicians from around the globe. 

Mif'13 Goldfrapp

Mif'13 Goldfrapp

Once again Albert Square will become the heart of MIF with locally-sourced food and drink and the best of UK street food, soundtracked by free outdoor music; plus Dave Haslam hosts in conversations with Festival artists and programmes DJs in the Festival Pavilion bar every night. MIF13 ends with Despacio: James Murphy (DFA/LCD Soundsystem) teams up with David and Stephen Dewaele (2ManyDJs) to create a custom-made sound system for three major club nights to conclude this year’s Festival. 

Tickets go on general sale at 10am on Friday 1 March. Box Office: www.mif.co.uk/Quaytickets 0844 375 2013. 

£12 tickets available for every show for Greater Manchester residents on a lower wage, available on a first come first served honesty basis.

All the above is the official Manchester International Festival press release. Over the coming weeks we'll be looking into the event, the programming and so on, more closely.

Current Tickets On Release

Massive Attack v Adam Curtis
4 - 13 July 2013
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5 - 20 July 2013
Sold Out

Macbeth Big Screen Relay
20 July 2013
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The xx - In Residence
6 - 18 July 2013
Sold Out

The Machine
10 - 21 July 2013
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Abida Parveen (and her musicians)
6 July 2013
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The Old Woman
4 - 7 July 2013
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The Masque of Anarchy
12 - 14 July 2013
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19 - 20 July 2013
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Michelanglo Sonnets
4 - 7 July 2013
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Manchester Camerata and Martha Argerich
12 July 2013
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The Rite of Spring
14 - 19 July 2013
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John Travener
7 July 2013
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Neneh Cherry and RocketNumberNine
5 - 7 July 2013
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Matthew Barney and Jonathan Bepler
13 - 14July 2013
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17 - 18 July 2013
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The Biospheric Project
5 - 21 July 2013
More Info

Once Upon a Story (Inne Goris)
12 - 21 July 2013
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Jamal Edwards and SB.TV presents
8 -17 July 2013
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18 - 20 July 2013
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12 - 13 July 2013
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DJs at Festival Square
5 July & 20 July 2013
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Rob da Bank
6 - 19 July 2013
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18 -20 July 2013
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Tickets go on general sale at 10am on Friday 1 March. Box Office: www.mif.co.uk/Quaytickets 0844 375 2013.

Mif'13 MogwaiMif'13 Mogwai

Mif'13 PavilionMif'13 Pavilion

Mif'13 Abida ParveenMif'13 Abida Parveen


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11 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Poster BoyFebruary 28th 2013.


Manc GuyFebruary 28th 2013.

Can't wait. The Massive Attack/Adam Curtis event will be held in Mayfield train station. Brilliant idea. They've already started building on it today.

Kevin PeelFebruary 28th 2013.

Looks great. But tickets sell out too quickly - need slow release over several dates to ensure people get a chance!

Heather DuroseFebruary 28th 2013.

Are more tickets being released for The XX & the Massive Attack gig?

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousMarch 1st 2013.

The xx - there are local residents low wage tickets.

MFebruary 28th 2013.

Massive attack tickets are available. I've just bought a couple.

Stephen NewtonFebruary 28th 2013.

@Heather only a couple of Massive Attack dates are sold out; you can book now.

Calum McGMarch 1st 2013.

Awesome! Got my Massive Attack tickets; it going to be cool :)

AnonymousMarch 1st 2013.

The same Mayfield Station thats being demolished as I type?

Frazer MunroMarch 1st 2013.

Some really great theatre and music going on here. So chuffed to have tickets to The xx and Macbeth AND Mogwai!!

AnonymousMarch 1st 2013.

I got tickets to Goldfrapp and the outdoor relay of Macbeth. Can't wait to visit the Albert Hall and to see what it's like inside upstairs

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