News Article

News Article

Alchemist Opera 'Dr. Dee' Breaks Big in 2012

Damon Albarn, frontman of UK alt-rock band Blur, creator of animated pop-rockers Gorillaz, and a talented film composer (whose horror credits include cult cannibal comedy Ravenous), will be taking his critically-acclaimed gothic rock opera Dr. Dee – which spins the Faustian tale of a fascinating 16th Century alchemist – to London's prestigious Coliseum theater next year. On the flipside, we've got more background on the show and the strange-but-possibly-true story that inspired it, so hit the jump and learn more...

Helmed by award-winning stage director Rufus Norris, Doctor Dee is inspired by a real historical figure, described as "mathematician, astrologer, courtier and spy," referenced by H.P. Lovecraft as the English translator of The Necronomicon. The opera turns his exploits into a variation on the Faust legend, with the title character entering a doomed agreement with a Mephistopheles-like antagonist.

The opera, which first opened at the Manchester International Festival earlier this year to huge critical praise, features an orchestra playing authentic 16th century instruments, as well as pop & rock elements, spoken narration and lead vocals from Albarn – who plays a modern-day troubadour, singing from the top tier of the multi-level stage during the show. Legendary comic author Alan Moore (Watchmen) was briefly attached to the project, but left about a third of the way through pre-production.

On June 25, 2012, Dr. Dee will open at the historic London Coliseum opera house for a two-week run, and tickets are on sale today at the English National Opera website. But if you find yourself unable to skip cross the Atlantic to catch it in person, a live recording of the show will be released on CD next spring. More on that soon...