Premiering on Saturday, Sept. 23 is Black Sabbath — The Ballet, an unlikely creation by the Birmingham Royal Ballet in the British Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band’s home town. The production is the brainchild of the company’s Christopher Austin with the involvement of guitarist Tony Iommi and purports to be “the first true heavy metal ballet experience.” But founding Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler tells us it’s not an entirely brand new idea:
“I was telling Tony the other day to remember when I suggested doing a Black Sabbath ballet in 1972. He was like, ‘Erm, I don’t remember that.’ I suggested that in 1972, of all things, because the Who were coming out with ‘Tommy’ and there’s all these rock opera things going on, and I said to Tony, ‘Let’s do a Black Sabbath ballet. Instead of a rock opera thing, let’s do a ballet.’ And nothing ever came of it, and now it’s happening.” :35 OC: it’s happening)
In addition to its premiere at the Birmingham Hippodrome, “Black Sabbath — The Ballet” is also scheduled to be performed at Theatre Royal Ply month and Sadler’s Wells in London during October.
Iommi, Butler, Ozzy Osbourne and Bill Ward formed Black Sabbath during 1968 and the group continued on and off, and with a variety of lineup changes, until formally disbanding during March of 2017, following a pair of final shows the previous month at Birmingham’s Genting Arena.
Butler published a memoir, “Into the Void: From Birth to Black Sabbath — And Beyond,” during June.