“Dr. Dee”: A New Opera I’d Like To See

Says the Guardian: ‘Since it was first seen during the Manchester festival last year, Damon Albarn and Rufus Norris‘s opera built around the life and work of John Dee – the 16th-century mathematician, alchemist, spy and adviser to Elizabeth I – has been fleshed out and revised. Extra songs have been added (Dr Dee himself has gained a singing voice), orchestrations enhanced and Norris’s production generally refined. In its transfer to the Coliseum under English National Opera’s auspices, “Dr Dee” seems to have lost its original subtitle, “An English Opera,” though the parade of national stereotypes in the opening minutes of Norris’s lavish, hugely imaginative and energetic staging still underscores that aspect of the work and its focus on a particularly home-grown form of battiness.’

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