Blur’s Damon Albarn reveals he’s moving away from Britpop and taking a surprising new direction

BRITPOP king Damon Albarn is writing an opera.

The Blur frontman has revealed he is working on a project inspired by the 1807 masterpiece The Magic Flute Part II.

Blur's Damon Albarn is writing an opera


Blur’s Damon Albarn is writing an operaPhoto credit: Getty

This was the creation of the German poet, scientist and playwright Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

Damon, who has just completed two big dates at Wembley Stadium, said: “I’m doing an opera right now using Goethe’s Fragment on The Magic Flute Part II, which is fascinating.”

“Have you heard of Mozart’s Magic Flute?

“Well, Goethe, a contemporary of Mozart, wrote Part II of it – the sequel – but it was never set to music.

“It’s that legendary lost thing.”

But while Damon is a master of music, he admitted it wasn’t an easy process.

He added: “I don’t really know what I’m doing.

“I never know what I’m doing in this world, I’m a complete idiot.

“I don’t know if it’s good.

“I’m more confident with songs.”

“Different Approach”

Damon keeps busy after Blur’s reunion as he is also working on a new Gorillaz album.

But in an exciting development, Damon revealed that he and colleague Jamie Hewlett would take the group in a whole new direction.

He explained, “I’ve done a couple of tracks.

“It’s not going to be as dramatic as a quantum leap, it’s going to be a paradigm shift, it’s going to be very different.”

“It’s going to be a completely different approach to everything – to the band, to everything.

“We have come to a point where we will change.

“Why? Because it was always just Jamie and me.

“Even though it’s a very big deal now, it’s still essentially just two people.

“If we decided together that we wanted to do something unknowable, then we will do it.

Phone-free life

“You really need that to keep it alive.”

Damon, who will be appearing on the Broken Record podcast, said he’s also made the decision to live without a phone after being cell-bound for years.

He added: “We live in an echo chamber.

“Everyone who has a phone is involved in one way or another, so I don’t have a phone.

“I suppose it’s because of my belief that we’re living in the most narcissistic age of all time.

“In man’s epoch, I don’t know if he can become more narcissistic than he is now, or they are now.

“We experience it together.”

Em goes with the Flo

FLORENCE PUGH and Emily Blunt took the plunge to promote their new movie.

The stars were in Leicester Square yesterday for the photocall for the cinematic thriller Oppenheimer.

Emily Blunt and Florence Pugh took the plunge to promote their new film


Emily Blunt and Florence Pugh took the plunge to promote their new filmPhoto credit: PA

Florence, with short pink hair, was braless and wore a fancy blue denim playsuit and white heels.

In the meantime, Emily shone in a bronze metallic suit with open heels.

The film, which hits theaters July 21, tells the story of how one man’s invention of the atomic bomb changed the world.

Florence and Emily appear alongside Peaky Blinders co-star Cillian Murphy and Hollywood stars Matt Damon and Robert Downey Jr.

I don’t miss Zayn’s life as a celebrity

ZAYN MALIK has spoken publicly for the first time in six years – to admit he loves life away from the spotlight in the US.

The former One Direction singer had faded from public view and become a recluse after settling in Pennsylvania and learning to manage anxiety.

Zayn Malik has publicly admitted for the first time in six years that he loves life away from the spotlight in America


Zayn Malik has publicly admitted for the first time in six years that he loves life away from the spotlight in AmericaPhoto credit: Ruckas
One Direction, from left: Harry Styles, Zayn Malik, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson and Liam Payne


One Direction, from left: Harry Styles, Zayn Malik, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson and Liam PaynePhoto credit: Getty – Contributor
Zayn has a daughter with supermodel Gigi Hadid


Zayn has a daughter with supermodel Gigi HadidPhoto credit: Reuters

Today he lives sheltered, surrounded by animals and makes music away from daily public scrutiny.

Zayn, who will be releasing his comeback single “Love Like This” on July 21, said: “We have three cats, three dogs, three turtles and six chickens.

“I didn’t name the chickens this time because I got too attached to them last time and it made me sad.

“I took one to the vet and the vet laughed at me.

“I cried and she died in my arms.”

Zayn admits that part of the reason he lives away from New York or LA is to give his daughter Khai, who he shares with supermodel Gigi Hadid, a life that is as normal as possible.

That’s in stark contrast to his former bandmates Harry Styles and Liam Payne, both of whom are regularly photographed out and about or on world tours.

Zayn said on the Call Her Daddy podcast that he didn’t want his daughter to be affected by having famous parents.

Of living in the limelight, he said, “She didn’t choose it, that’s why we live here.”

“I’m trying to give her an option and to decide if she can come here if she wants to get away from it.

“I have them 50 percent and that’s so important.

“She’s growing up so fast.

“When I’m with her, I don’t work.

“I spend the day with her doing things she wants like painting, parking, going to the zoo and having fun.”

Hearts broke when Zayn left 1D, but he admits, “I look back in a much more positive light now than when I first left.

“It just took its course.

“The first thing I wanted to do was call my mom and be like, ‘Can I come home?'”

While he doesn’t enjoy the star life, Zayn is ready to return to the charts.

Alongside Love Like This, he’s working on his fourth album – his first since 2021’s Nobody Is Listening.

Madge crashed Noel

NOEL GALLAGHER has opened up about his wild 50th birthday bash – and revealed the biggest diva of them all was in attendance for the night

Recalling the Narcos themed party, which took place at Aynhoe Park in Oxfordshire, the High Flying Birds frontman said Madonna crashed the mega party.

Guests like Bob Geldof, Michael Fassbender and Russell Brand partied until the early hours.

And Noel said of Madge, “She insisted we play her songs.”

Noel, who marked his milestone with the celebrity-packed event six years ago, went on to admit he hates listening to Oasis songs when he’s out and revealed he’d go if someone was there where he was eating , started playing his hits.

He added, “I’m in a restaurant and there’s Wonderwall in the background — that happens to me quite often.”

“When I go to a restaurant, Wonderwall suddenly comes on

“It’s like I sit down on the table and start playing air acoustics?”

JENNIFER LOPEZ appeared ready for bed as she took her daughter out to lunch in Los Angeles.

The All I Have star wore an oversized fleece hoodie with matching trousers during his visit to Mauro’s cafe.

J-Lo, pictured with her daughter, wore this oversized fleece hoodie with matching pants


J-Lo, pictured with her daughter, wore this oversized fleece hoodie with matching pantsPhoto credit: BackGrid

However, J-Lo didn’t disappoint with the price.

The simply dressed singer and actress paid a whopping £775 for her giant Jacquemus jumper.

Walford can wait, says Ray

ER was set to replace Danny Dyer as EastEnders’ new hardman.

But Ray Winstone will not accept the BBC’s offer just yet.

Ray Winstone will not be part of the EastEnders cast any time soon


Ray Winstone will not be part of the EastEnders cast any time soonPhoto credit: Getty

The actor told me, “I’ve been asked many times. I’m very flattered and have some great friends there like Perry Fenwick and I’ve made many more over the years.

“But it’s the same scenario again as with the theater – I don’t want to be tied down to something for so long because I might as well go and work somewhere in an office from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.”

Ray supported his daughter Jaime onstage in 2:22 A Ghost Story and admitted he told her to ignore any of his advice.

He said, laughing, “I told her not to listen to everything I say because these kids know more.”

“I’m glad I wasn’t a part of this whole social media era because today it’s too easy to connect with everyone.

“I’m from the old days and if someone said something nasty about you, it wouldn’t really bother me. I just laugh about it.

“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

Sounds like good advice.

Lily is hot to eat

LILY ALLEN takes center stage as she heads to the West End after appearing in her latest play.

She was dressed to impress in a striking red outfit as she left London’s Duke of York Theater after her performance in ‘The Pillowman’ and then headed out to dinner.

Lily Allen was dressed to impress in this striking red outfit


Lily Allen was dressed to impress in this striking red outfitPhoto credit: The Mega Agency

The strapless dress emphasized her slim figure thanks to its semi-transparent material.

Lily’s role in the play follows her 2021 West End debut in 2:22 Ghost Story.

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Although she hasn’t released an album since 2018’s “No Shame,” Lily is still interested in music.

She has written musical versions of Black Mirror and Bridget Jones’s Diary that are not yet in production.

Emma James

Emma James is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Emma James joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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