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Damon Albarn's Dr Dee | English National Opera

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Published on Jun 26, 2012

Following the success of Damon Albarn's Monkey: Journey to the West, ENO presents the London premiere of Albarn's visionary new opera Dr Dee.

Although largely unknown today, Doctor Dee was the quintessential Renaissance Man. From astrology to alchemy and physics to philosophy, his thirst for knowledge was insatiable and, as a key adviser to Elizabeth I, he is credited with providing much of the intelligence which shaped 'the British Empire' established under her rule.

Dee also dabbled in the occult and, ultimately, this fascination destroyed him. Conned by a deranged medium, Dee's career ended in disgrace and sexual scandal and he died discredited and penniless.

This fascinating figure is bought to life by the extraordinary talents of composer and musician Damon Albarn, and director Rufus Norris. Albarn's music is an ingenious mix of pop vocals, much of which he will perform live on-stage, with contemporary orchestral music played on 16th-century period instruments. Rufus Norris's staging presents five centuries of English history and the three realms of earth, heaven and hell, with the virtuosic flare which has secured him a raft of awards and five-star reviews from London to Broadway.

Reviews of Dr Dee's 2011 staging at the Manchester International Festival:

'Fresh, original and heartfelt... I was entranced'
The Daily Telegraph

'A thoroughly beguiling spectacle... deserves a gold medal for sheer imagination and invention'
The Observer

'A breathtaking spectacle... rich in invention, imagery and imagination'
The Stage

Performances
June 25, 26, 28, 29 & July 4, 6, 7 at 7.30pm , July 7 at 2.30pm
8 performances. Running time: 2hrs.
Pre-performance talk: Thur June 28, 5.30-6.15pm, £5

Album
"Dr Dee", a studio album by Damon Albarn, set for release by Parlophone Records on 7th May 2012. Dr Dee is 18 tracks of songs combining Albarn's voice with early English choral and instrumentation alongside modern, West African and Renaissance sounds. Dr Dee was recorded late last year in Albarn's West London studio and also in Salford with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra. The album was mixed by Valgeir Sigursson in Reykjavik. Dr Dee will be available on CD, vinyl and as a digital download. For more info visit: http://widgets.platform.emi.com/landi...

About English National Opera:
ENO is creating the future of opera: presenting award-winning work that is new, exciting and surprising.Collaborating with creative talent from across the arts, ENO is based at the London Coliseum and has a world-class reputation for distinctive and highly theatrical productions. This reputation has resulted in many high profile artistic partnerships with opera houses and festivals around the world.

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