05/17/2012 12:57 pm ET Updated May 17, 2012

'Dr. Dee': Damon Albarn Performs 'Apple Cart' And 'O Spirit, Animate Us,' From His Opera (VIDEO)

Damon Albarn released all 18 tracks for "Dr. Dee" this month, the historical opera about powerful Elizabethan court advisor and occultist John Dee, that Albarn's calling the most important thing he's ever done. Reviewers (unfairly) expecting the same kind of mass appeal as in a Gorillaz or Blur album are finding themselves disappointed, but so what? Albarn is one of those artists who can do whatever he wants now, including limiting himself to African and Elizabethan instruments, and writing a song about apple carts being set on fire.

In this video from The Guardian, Albarn and a baroque ensemble perform the apple cart song ("Apple Carts"), and a switched-up version of the prayerful, "O Spirit, Animate Us," in which Albarn sings the part of Dee's daughter and Dee's is sung by a woman. As you'd expect for an opera commissioned by the cheering squad for the London Olympics, it all sounds awesomely British.


[via Guardian]