On June 22, 2013, Madonna’s The MDNA Tour aired on EPIX.
You can call her the Queen of Pop or you can call her the Material Girl, but there’s no moniker quite so evocative as simply: Madonna. The seven-time Grammy Award winner returns to the stage in an epic world tour billed as “a journey from darkness to light.” And whether you’re in it for Madonna’s trademark blend of controversial themes and killer dance moves, or simply some delicious pop hooks, you won’t be disappointed.
On June 6 2013, a press release by Universal Music announced the release date of the MDNA World Tour concert film and live album:
Madonna’s groundbreaking, critically acclaimed, controversial and visually stunning MDNA concert will be available in the US on August 27th (August 26th globally), it was announced today by Universal Music. The two hour MDNA extravaganza was the most successful tour of 2012. Presented by Live Nation Global Touring, the tour included 88 sold out shows in 29 countries. Madonna and her ten member band lead by musical director Kevin Antunes and troupe of 25 dancers performed a wild two hour spectacle that fascinated, enthralled and entertained 2.2 million fans.
“Madonna spent six months personally editing the video footage from 30 cameras and many different shows to put together the MDNA DVD. Her attention to every frame, every detail and nuance and total commitment to show her creative vision has been done to perfection. Each song is like a short movie. One minute you are in an action movie and the next you’re at a golden era musical before shooting across to India and back for a house party to finish. It’s better than any 3-D Imax movie out there and at a break neck pace that would make any Olympian struggle for breath,” commented the show’s co- director and supervising editor, Danny B. Tull.
Songs included “Girl Gone Wild” and “Gang Bang” from Madonna’s MDNA CD which debuted at No. 1 in 35 countries as well as fan favorite classic Madonna songs such as “Hung Up”, “Express Yourself,” “Vogue,” “Open Your Heart,” “Like A Prayer” and “Celebration”.
“My show is a journey.. the journey of a soul from darkness to light. It is part cinematic musical theatre, part spectacle and sometimes intimate performance art. I know people can relate to it. It’s very important to me as an artist that my show not be taken out of context. It must be watched with an open heart from beginning to end.. I am sure if it is viewed this way, the viewer will walk away feeling inspired, invigorated and will want to make the world a better place.. And this of course is my intention,” remarked Madonna in her manifesto about the show.
Amongst the glowing reviews, the Daily Mail raved, “The queen of pop’s latest album MDNA provided the bedrock for a two hour show that sent out a powerful message to any young pretenders eyeing up her crown.. She remains one of the greats.”
“Madonna’s sold-out concert was a jaw-dropping sequence of stunningly designed set pieces; including an aerial drum crops, a battalion of dazzling dancers, an explosively bloody gangster fantasy and a surreal spiritual voyage,” remarked The Miami Herald.
“The Material Girl proceeds to take us through a song cycle that examined sex, liberation, sin , empowerment, love, addiction, rebellion and finally redemption.. She did it all in classic Madonna style – controversial and eye-popping,” commented The Dallas Morning News.
The MDNA DVD was directed by Danny B. Tull and Stephane Sennour and was produced by Madonna. Executive producers: Arthur Fogel, Guy Oseary and Sara Zambreno. Tour wardrobe was created by Arianne Phillips. Supervising Editor Danny B. Tull. Director of Photography Mark Ritchie.
On January 8 2013, Raising Malawi announced that Madonna’s on-going commitment to Malawi had completed the construction of ten primary schools to support the education of orphans and children of the country. The new schools serve to educate 4,871 children. The new schools were the result of a partnership between Madonna, her charity Raising Malawi and the global non-profit organization buildOn.
The tens schools were built six months ahead of schedule.
Madonna had this to say about the new schools:
“I am overjoyed that my commitment along with buildOn’s to help educate the children of Malawi has come to fruition. In a country where girls have little opportunity for education, it’s additionally inspiring to know that more than half the students attending will be young girls. The fact that more than 4,800 children in Malawi will get to go to school next year is a tremendous step forward for their individual growth and the growth of Malawi.”
On October 29 2013, photographer Richard Corman announced the release of an exclusive photographic book, Madonna NYC 83, devoted to the photo shoot he created with Madonna back in 1983, a few months before the release of her first studio album.
“As a young photographer in 1983, I had the opportunity to capture a series of images with Madonna as she was on the verge of releasing her debut album,” said Richard Corman. “The rebellious energy of the East Village was the backdrop to showcase Madonna’s style, spontaneity and pioneering attitude. She consistently conveyed an attitude of fearlessness and fierce determination.”
In conjunction with the U.S. book launch, Milk Gallery in New York City hosted a special exhibition featuring images from Madonna NYC 83 which ran from November 15 – December 15, 2013.
On July 23 2013, Madonna attended the funeral of her close friend David Collins in Monkstown, Ireland.
Madonna had initially met Collins in 1995 while she was in London to record the soundtrack for Evita. Well-known for his work as an architect and interior designer, Collins also received a songwriting credit on Drowned World/Substitute For Love when Madonna chose to adapt elements of a poem he had written for her into the song’s lyrics.