Dr Dee is the newest output from the ever busy Mr. Damon Albarn, since his days in Blur he has reinvented himself through various guises, and he has done it without ending up being a fat cheese chomping foppish cnut. Bravo Albarn for putting together this opera
Now Dr Dee or John Dee as he was also known was a mathematician, astrologer and magician amongst other things, he was supremely intelligent and his open minded ideas and search for knowledge and experiences ultimately led to his demise. Without giving the game away, his beliefs in other worlds lead to him making a decision which would ultimately cost him the one thing he loved the most.
The show is visually brilliant and combines a great set with an elevated band area where Albarn sits with his cronnies, he plays guitar throughout and acts as a sort of watchman / narrator, singing some parts of the opera. With the creepy and intense set design there is a brilliant light display tracking mathematical equations against screens as the story unfolds. The second half opens with a brilliant full stage light display while the cast perform beneath, huge grids reminiscent of the Matrix build across the stage with numbers, shapes and quotage. I clearly could not take pictures but found these…
This was the preview before the show has a short run at the London Coliseum, the opera came about following Albarn’s first foray into opera with Monkey: Journey to the West, the idea for Dr Dee came when comic book author Alan Moore suggested Albarn and collaborator Jamie Hewlett should use this as the basis for their opera over their original idea of superheroes. In the finish Albarn worked with Rufus Norris as Moore stepped aside for one reason and another.
My advice…. go see it. I have always wanted to see an opera and this is a good entry level one, even your heather mates might find this accessible… maybe