Damon Albarn’s opera, Dr Dee, directed by Rupert Norris, got rave reviews when it was on at the Manchester Festival last summer. This June, a year later, it will arrive at the London Coliseum, where it will stay for eight performances only, as part of the London Festival 2012. Siren alert! Book tickets now. Albarn’s subject, Dr Dee, was an Elizabethan philosopher, mathematician, magician, scientist, occultist, and influential advisor to Elizabeth 1. He is reputed to be the model for both Marlowe’s Dr Faustus and Shakespeare’s Prospero. Quite a subject matter then, for Albarn to tackle, and he does so using a combination of a chamber orchestra, 16th-century instruments, an African drummer and harp. He himself sings live too, acting as narrator. The staging, by all accounts, is nothing short of spectacular, so this is one we are prepared to pay for (even half way decent seats aren’t cheap, but that’s opera for you). If you want to read what the critics said about it, here is The Telegraph‘s review and another by The Guardian.