Black Sabbath’s Music Gets Turned Into a Ballet

The music of Black Sabbath is the central theme around a new ballet scheduled to open in the band’s hometown of Birmingham, England in September of 2023.

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Titled Black Sabbath – the Ballet, the limited performance, running Sept. 23-30, will feature eight of the band’s classic songs, including “Black Sabbath,” “War Pigs,” “Laguna Sunrise,” “Orchid,” “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath,” “Iron Man,” “Paranoid,” and “Solitude.”

Commissioned by Carlos Acosta, director of the Birmingham Royal Ballet, who met Black Sabbath’s guitarist Tony Iommi on several occasions, the ballet will first premiere at the Birmingham Hippodrome before moving to other cities in England, including Plymouth and London, following its initial run.

“Black Sabbath is probably Birmingham’s biggest export, the most famous (and infamous) cultural entity to ever emerge from the city,” said Acosta in a statement. “So I was naturally drawn to the idea of a collaboration between what most people might think are the most unlikely of partners. The band’s enthusiasm for the project is a huge endorsement.”

Iommi, 74, expressed his excitement over the band’s music being reimagined as a ballet. “I’m looking forward to seeing how this all develops,” said Iommi in a statement. “Black Sabbath have always been innovators and never been predictable, and it doesn’t come any more unpredictable than this. I’d never imagined pairing Black Sabbath with ballet, but it’s got a nice ring to it!

He added, “I performed alongside some of the dancers at the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony and they had an incredible energy, so I’m happy to go along for the ride with them, and see you on the other side.”

On Jan. 1, 2023, the guitarist also reflected on the past year and revealed that he’s working on a new album, which would be his first solo release since Iommi in 2000.

“It’s been a good year for me, 2022,” said Iommi in his YouTube message. “I’ve been writing and recording. I’m having a new studio built, which I’m really pleased about. Well, actually, the studio is built, and it’s almost ready to go. … In another couple of weeks, I think I’ll be ready to go in and start work in there, which I’m really looking forward to writing another album.”

Along with his work as a member of Heaven & Hell from 2007 through the death of frontman Ronnie James Dio in 2010, Iommi has continued working on a number of collaborative efforts over the years, including two albums each with Ian Gillan and Glenn Hughes, and Black Sabbath’s 19th and final album 13, in 2013.

Photo: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

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