Dr Dee

Fri 1 July, 2011

Sat 9 July, 2011

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Co-created by Damon Albarn, Rufus Norris

Damon Albarn’s heartfelt hymn to Albion was brought to life by Rufus Norris in a vivid, almost hallucinatory staging that perfectly reflected the obsessions of astrologer, alchemist, mathematician and spy Dr John Dee. With a score that knitted together Elizabethan instruments, the BBC Philharmonic and Albarn’s unmistakable ear for melody, this was a magical evening that utterly reimagined Dee’s life, taking in five centuries of English history and the three realms of earth, heaven and hell. It was only fitting that it should premiere in Manchester, where Dee spent ten years in exile at Chetham’s Library.

In the age before science and magic parted company, Doctor John Dee was the ultimate Renaissance Man. He coined the term 'British Empire' and equipped the Elizabethan Court with the knowledge to make it manifest. The inspiration for both Marlowe's Faust and Shakespeare's Prospero, Dee studied the Heavens, spoke with Archangels, and he paid a bitter personal price.

Dr Dee explored ritual and symbolism in this country, past and present, using John Dee – one of England's greatest but largely forgotten men – as a catalyst.

Commissioned by Manchester International Festival, London 2012 Festival and ENO. Produced by Manchester International Festival and ENO. With thanks to the BBC Philharmonic for their support and collaboration.



Image Credit: Howard Barlow


London 2012 Festival
Tue 26 June, 2012 -
Sat 7 July, 2012
London Coliseum

Rufus Norris lays on a sumptuous array of scenes and tableaux that draw upon the lavish stage mechanics of an Elizabethan masque.

The Guardian

Fresh, original and heartfelt... full of magic and illusion

The Daily Telegraph

Co-Created and Directed by Rufus Norris

Co-Created, Composed and Performed by Damon Albarn

Conductor and Orchestration Consultant – André de Ridder

Musical Supervisor – Stephen Higgins

Designer – Paul Atkinson

Video and Projection Designers, Movement Directors – Scott Graham, Steven Hoggett for Frantic Assembly

Lighting Designer – Paule Constable

Sound Designer – Paul Arditti


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