Blur's Damon Albarn discusses his new opera 'Doctor Dee'

Gorillaz mainman set to take to the stage next month in Manchester

Blur's Damon Albarn discusses his new opera 'Doctor Dee'

Photo: Andy Wilsher

Blur and Gorillaz mainman Damon Albarn has confirmed he will perform live in Doctor Dee, the opera he has co-created with celebrated theatre director Rufus Norris about the life of 16th century scientist John Dee.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today Programme this morning (June 7), Albarn confirmed he would be performing as part of the show, but said "I'm myself. I'm not walking around in a ruff and tights."

He also spoke of his inspiration for doing the opera, which is the second he has composed after first creating 2007's Monkey: Journey To The West, saying Dee's story has a connection to English history.

He said: "I've got a really strange emotional connection - it really gets to me, that haunted, magical England. It's something that really stirs me in an irrational way."

Albarn added that he feel the need to tell Dee's story as the scientist had been "whitewashed out of history." He said: "It's just amazing how much colour there is in his ideas. Just imagine the English now if we had kept that spirit in our hearts."

Doctor Dee will be performed at Manchester Palace Theatre on July 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 as part of the Manchester International Festival. Bjork, Wu Lyf and Snoop Dogg are also scheduled to take part in the month-long event.

See for more information.

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