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Black Elk

John Dee – the New Opera

June 26th, 2011

Dr John Dee was one of the most significant figures in English history and her greatest magician, who features strongly of course in The Book of English Magic. Now, Damon Albarn of the band Blur has created an opera based on his life and it is being premiered at the Manchester International festival on the day of the eclipse – July 1st. Next year it will be in London at ENO. It looks terrific. The festival says:

There was once an Englishman so influential that he defined how we measure years, so quintessential that he lives on in Shakespeare’s words; yet so shrouded in mystery that he’s fallen from the very pages of history itself. That man was Dr Dee – astrologer, courtier, alchemist, and spy. Following the phenomenal success of Monkey: Journey to the West, Damon Albarn returns to the Manchester International Festival to breathe new life into one of England’s greatest minds.Director Rufus Norris, Damon Albarn and an outstanding cast of musicians and performers invite you to discover the mystical world of Dr Dee: An English Opera right here in Manchester, at the world premiere of Damon Albarn’s new work. Manchester International Festival

Here is a very brief trailer for it, followed by a clip of one song from the opera: