Damon Albarn talks about Dr Dee – An English Opera
As if his previous foray into opera, Monkey: Journey to the West, wasn't an impressive enough display of Damon Albarn's versatility, his latest project is a musical voyage through the life and work of one John Dee, the 16th century mathematician, astronomer, astrologer, occultist and consultant to Queen Elizabeth I.
We'd like to see Noel Gallagher have a go at that.
MSN caught up with Damon at last month's OneFest festival in Wiltshire where he performed the full work live.
Click in the video player below for our exclusive interview and more.
Dr Dee explained
The Dr Dee opera was inspired by comic book author Alan Moore and was originally planned as a collaboration between him, Damon and Gorillaz artist Jamie Hewlett.
When Moore withdrew from the project, Damon wrote a full-scale opera for a band combining Elizabethan English instruments such as the viola de gamba, shawm, dulcian, crumhorn, recorde and lute, with the African kora and the distinctive percussion of erstwhile Albarn collaborator Tony Allen.
The resulting work was first performed live from 1 to 9 July 2011 at the Palace Theatre, Manchester, and more recently at OneFest.
The production has won rave reviews, with The Daily Telegraph calling it "fresh, original and heartfelt", and the NME declaring it "visually sumptuous and musically haunting".
An 18-track soundtrack album entitled Dr Dee will be released by Parlophone on May 7 -you can order a copyhere.