October 3, 2012 12:50
Damon Albarn: 'I want to write a new opera'
Blur man launches new initiative to bring opera to a wider audience
Speaking at the English National Opera (ENO) in London this morning (October 3), the Blur frontman said:
"I’ve got a really good idea. I’m not going to say what it is, but it’s interesting."
Albarn was at ENO to help launch Undress For The Opera, a new scheme to attract younger people to the opera with lower prices and a relaxed dress code. Albarn backed the idea, saying: "I quite like dressing up, but I also like to have the choice. I like the ritual of dressing up to go and see something, but at the same time you don’t have to."
Asked about his reasons for supporting ENO, Albarn replied: "I’m quite clearly not someone who had any form of opera education. I’ve done it entirely instinctively. The fact that the English National Opera is prepared to encourage that is a great sign of its health."
He added: "Opera as a form can go forward and allow people to use these incredible facilities to find something new. At some point I hope I can deliver something to the ENO that ticks every single box but doesn’t compromise where I come from as well. If you can do that you’ll truly get a new audience in here because it will make sense to everybody."
For Albarn, opera is a "long term study thing". He said: "I was too busy jumping up and down on stages around the world when I should have been at college finishing my classical musical education."
Albarn's second opera, Dr Dee, premiered at Manchester International Festival in 2011. It was staged at ENO in 2012.