From: Monday, 25th June 2012
To: Saturday, 7 July 2012
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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 advisor 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 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.
29 June 2012
Confession: I’d rather go to a Gorillaz gig than sit through the Ring Cycle. Opera is an art form that continues to baffle this music lover, despite ardent efforts to address this handicap. Worse still, I prefer Malcolm McLaren’s 6-minute distillation of Madam Butterfly to the two acts intended by Puccini. Sorry. This might make me an idiot, but one would assume that it’s glib minded fools such as myself that the ENO is hoping to reach with hip collaborations such as Dr Dee
The production is the offspring off the Manchester International Festival, London 2012 Festival and ENO. Damon Alban, known to ageing indie kids as the lead singer from Blur is the undeniable box office draw. He’s proved creative mettle by fronting a cartoon concept band (Gorrilaz), showcasing African music and penning the score for Monkey: Journey to the West. It’s hard not to admire Albarn’s ambition and the intentions of everybody involv...
Latest User Review
Trevor G Stammers - 4 July 2012:
As an opera fanatic, I actaully enjoyed this production much more than the dull and unfathomable take on Billy Budd the night before. Albarn is no Britten but he does write some beautiful lines and the astounding visual spectacle of the evening held both me and my twenty-something son spellbound. ...
Damon Albarn (Music)
English National Opera (Producer)
Manchester International Festival (Producer)
London 2012 Festival (Producer)
Stephen Higgins (Conductor)
Rufus Norris (Director)
Paul Atkinson (Design)
Katrina Lindsay (Costume)
Jonathan Lipman (associate costume designer) (Costume)
Paule Constable) (Lighting)
Scott Graham (movement) (Director)
Steven Hoggett (movement) (Director)
Frantic Assembly (movement) (Director)
Lysander Ashton (video - for 59 Productions) (Design)
Paul Arditti (Sound)
Andre de Ridder (orchestration consultant) (Other)