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Albarn’s ‘Monkey’ Opera Score Heading To CD

Damon Albarn’s score for the opera “Monkey: Journey to the West” will be released in the fall via XL Recordings in North America.

The production, which is based on an idea by Jean-Luc Choplin from the original 16th century novel by Wu Cheng’en, premiered last summer in Manchester, England, and will be staged tomorrow (July 23) in London.

The 22-track album was recorded in London and Beijing with a host of European and Chinese musicians. A vinyl boxed set will be available through Vinyl Factory Ltd. Visuals were handled by Albarn’s collaborator in Gorillaz, Jamie Hewlett.

Albarn and Hewlett have already moved on to their next project, which Hewlett told the Daily Guardian will be called “Carousel.” He said it is “even bigger and more difficult than ‘Monkey,'” and may be a film, an album or both.

“Damon’s written around 70 songs for it, and I’ve got great plans for the visuals, but right now, at this moment, it’s still just a really good idea,” he said.