Tony Iommi has heaped praise on a new ballet set to the music of his band Black Sabbath.
The group's music has been reinterpreted for a dance production called 'Black Sabbath – The Ballet' which will be performed by the Birmingham Royal Ballet in three venues across the UK in the autumn and Iommi has confessed he previously would have thought it would be "weird" but he feels proud to have the group's music reimagined in such a novel new way.
Speaking to the Guardian newspaper, Tony said of the ballet: "I’d never have believed it. Especially remembering how we were looked on when we first started: no one wanted to know."
He added that moviemaker Ken Russell - the director behind The Who's rock opera 'Tommy' - wanted to make a similar film with Black Sabbath but they turned it down. Tony went on: "We just went: ‘Eh?’ I thought it was weird – and I would have thought this [ballet] was weird back then."
The musician added of the ballet project: "[Lead composer Christopher Austin]came over to my house and played me his ideas. It was great to see someone else’s impression of what we did. I was wondering how they would do it – would they just play our songs as we did them? And of course they don’t. There are little parts of us, then an interlude, then back in with another riff. I’ve heard loads of different versions of our music – accordions, everything. You name it, I’ve heard it. But this is really great."
A description of the production posted on the official website describes it as "the first true heavy metal ballet experience" featuring voiceovers by Tony as well as Sharon Osbourne - wife of frontman Ozzy Osbourne - and hits such as 'Paranoid' and 'Iron Man'.
'Black Sabbath – The Ballet' premieres in the band's hometown of Birmingham at the Birmingham Hippodrome on September 23. There will also be performances at Theatre Royal Plymouth and Sadler's Wells in London in October.