Blur man launches new initiative to bring opera to a wider audience
Damon Albarn has revealed that he’s keen to write another opera following the success of last year’s production of Dr Dee.
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.