The Straits Times
Published on Oct 03, 2012

Damon Albarn backs initiative to find younger opera fans


LONDON (REUTERS) - The English National Opera launched a fresh initiative on Wednesday to attract new and younger audiences to an art form it acknowledged was still seen by many as the preserve of old and wealthy patrons.

Undress For The Opera has the backing of former Blur frontman Damon Albarn, whose operatic work Dr Dee was part of the ENO's 2011/12 season and attracted 60 per cent of new ticket buyers.

Albarn, one of the biggest names in British pop, hesitated to call Dr Dee an opera, reflecting the suspicion with which the art form is viewed by many.

"I don't really know what to call it," Albarn told reporters at the ENO's Coliseum theatre in central London.