Blur frontman Damon Albarn is taking his circus opera to the US.

MONKEY: JOURNEY TO THE WEST will make its stateside debut at the 2008 Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina, beginning on May 23rd, reports NME magazine.

The show will be performed 18 times during the 17-day event and will then travel to London for a stint at the Royal Opera House, according to the publication.

It made its debut last year in a Manchester Theatre.

The opera features music by Albarn and set creations from his Gorillaz collaborator JAMIE HEWITT.

Chen Shi-Zheng directs the show which is a mix of animations and live-action circus acts.

It follows the tale of an ancient Chinese legend, in which a monkey king gains immortality after leading a revolt against heaven.

Meanwhile, it was recently reported that Albarn is planning a 130-musician album.

Speaking to BBC 6 Music, he said that his latest endeavour will feature a Chinese choir and a full orchestra but refused to reveal any details about the title or whether it is linked to any of his previous projects.

02/05/2008 12:12:57