Tony Iommi Composing Music for Black Sabbath Ballet

Tony Iommi is working on music for an upcoming ballet based on the music of Black Sabbath. The production is set to hit the stage in the U.K. in the fall of 2023.

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The Black Sabbath guitarist shared a photo of himself in the studio with composer Chris Austin. “Great day with Chris Austin working on music for the ballet in my new studio,” the caption read. 

Commissioned by Birmingham Royal Ballet director Carlos Acosta, Black Sabbath – The Ballet, will kick off with a week-long run in the band’s hometown at the Birmingham Hippodrome from September 23-30, 2023. The production will expand on tour to the Theatre Royal in Plymouth, England, and Sadler’s Wells in London.

The limited-run performance 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.”

“Black Sabbath is probably Birmingham’s biggest export, the most famous (and infamous) cultural entity to ever emerge from the city,” said Acosta in an earlier 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 also expressed his excitement over the band’s music being re-interpreted through ballet.

“I’m looking forward to seeing how this all develops,” said Iommi. “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!

“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.”

The guitarist, who released his solo debut, Iommi, in 2000 — which featured contributions from Sabbath bandmate Ozzy Osbourne, along with the late Type-O Negative singer Peter Steele, Billy Idol, Dave Grohl, Pantera’s Phil Anselmo, Billy Corgan, and Henry Rollins, among others — recently revealed that he is also working on a new album after putting the finishing touches on a new studio.

“I’ve been writing and recording,” said Iommi in a YouTube video message. “I’m having a new studio built too, which I’m really pleased about. Well, actually, the studio is built, and it’s almost ready to go. I’m just waiting for some equipment.

“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.”

Photo: Kevin Mazur/WireImage

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