While appearing on the Broken Record Podcast, Albarn shared he is putting Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s 1807’s The Magic Flute Part II to music for the first time. The 1791 original was an opera in two acts to a German libretto by Emanuel Schikaneder.
“I’m doing an opera at the moment, using Goethe’s fragment he wrote about The Magic Flute Part II, which is fascinating,” he said.
He continued: “You’ve heard of Mozart’s ‘Magic Flute’? Well, Goethe, who is a contemporary of Mozart, wrote ‘Part II’ of that — the sequel — but it never got put to music. It’s this legendary lost thing.”
Though Albarn is a successful musician fronting iconic bands such as Blur, who have been playing a string of successful comeback shows – including two nights at Wembley Stadium – and the cartoon group Gorillaz, he admitted to feeling like an idiot when working in the world of opera.
“I don’t really know what I’m doing. I never know what I’m doing in that world, I’m a complete idiot. I don’t know if it’s any good. With songs, I’m more confident about that,” he explained.
The singer also shared that there is a new Gorillaz album in the works with a completely new sound. The decision to venture in new musical route on the follow up to 2023’s ‘Cracker Island’ was made to keep the group “alive.”
“It’s not going to be as dramatic as a quantum shift, it will be a paradigm shift, it will be very different. It will be an entirely different approach to everything — to the band, to everything,” Albarn explained.
He continued: “We’re at a point where we’re going to change. Why? Because it was always just Jamie and I. Although it is a very big thing now, it is still, in essence, just two people. If we decided between us that we want to do something unrecognisable then we will. You need that for it to stay alive, really.”
‘Blur present: The Ballad Of Darren’ will take place at London’s Eventim Apollo on July 25. It will be the first and only time the album will be performed in its entirety, from start to finish, and fans across the globe can tune in via a livestream of the show.
In a five-star review of the band’s show at Wembley Stadium, NME wrote: “This two-hour performance shows that Blur have soundtracked the audience’s lives with real emotional impact. James recently called the making of their new album an “utter joy”. It’s clear that fans would say the same about tonight.”