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Dr. Dee
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Performer Notes
  • Personnel: Damon Albarn (vocals); Victoria Couper, Bertie Carvel, Palace Voices, Stephen Page , Anna Dennis , Melanie Pappenheim, Christopher Robson (vocals); Ruth Gibbins, Amy Payne, Leanie Lodge, Claire Barnett-Jones (mezzo soprano); Andrew Walters, Ashley Catling, Simon Wall , Benedict Quirke (tenor); Simon Tong (guitar); Madou Diabate (kora); Lian Byrne (viol); Bill Lyons, David Hatcher, Anne Allen (woodwinds); Mike Smith (organ); Tony Allen (drums).
  • Audio Mixer: Valgeir Sigurdsson.
  • Recording information: MediaCityUK; Studio 13, London.
  • Like Rocket Juice & the Moon, Dr Dee is a creative combination of Damon Albarn's post-Blur fascinations: musical theater, African music, and British folk. This opera was inspired by John Dee, a mathematician, polymath, and advisor to Queen Elizabeth I, and mixes period-accurate Renaissance sounds with more contemporary folk music and West African influences, all of which provide the backdrop to Albarn's knowing, older-but-wiser vocals. Live performances of the show have earned accolades from corners including The Daily Telegraph and The Observer. The album was recorded late in 2009 in Albarn's West London studio and also in Salford with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra.
Professional Reviews
Billboard (p.48) - "'The Moon Exalted,' 'Edward Kelley' and the playfully oddball 'Watching the Fire That Waltzed Away' convey an operatic majesty."

Mojo (Publisher) (p.88) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Albarn and trusted collaborators like Simon Tong and Tony Allen often leave the spotlight to featured soloists such as soprano Anna Dennis, a mesmerising presence on 'O Spirit Animate Us'..."

Uncut (magazine) (pp.63-65) - "Albarn's arrangements are beautifully judged throughout, especially the harmonious blending of a particular medieval lute, the theobore, with a harpsichord and the West African kora..."
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