Going backwards and forwards to Manchester visiting clients last year, I hoped against hope that my calendar would align with Damon Albarn’s and I’d get to see Dr Dee: The Opera.
It wasn’t to be.
However, the production is transferring to London and opening night falls on my birthday. Boom. Easiest birthday celebrations ever!
Like most of us borderline obsessive occult nerds, Dee fascinates me.
To my mind he exemplifies the ongoing process of re-installing magic back into the historical narrative that has been happening over the last twenty five years or so.
He’s gone from a person you never heard about to a person history nerds should feel guilty not knowing about to a person that even the mainstream would recognise by name.
That’s Queen Elizabeth visiting him at his house in Mortlake. Which is just down the road from me, actually. Spy, astrologer, inventor of the British Empire. (I like my wizards to be self-made political meddlers.)
Also there was that other thing he did. Something something angels something? Whatever it was, his scrying tools are on show in the Enlightenment Gallery at the British Museum. Thinking about it, there is enough Dee stuff scattered around the capital to make for a decent exhibition somewhere like the Wellcome Gallery or the British Library. Let’s all put that out into Idea Space and see if it happens.
In the meantime, here’s a great interview with Damn Albarn -of Blur and Gorillaz- in preparation for the upcoming release of Dr Dee as an album and aforementioned opera. And here’s some of the actual music:
Should you wish to nerd it up further this weekend, then behold an overly sensationalist Dee documentary.
In conclusion…. Dee!