1. ITV Report

Damon Albarn tells us to 'Undress for the Opera'

Blur's Damon Albarn is backing 'Undress for the Opera'. Photo: John Stillwell/PA Wire

Blur frontman Damon Albarn is backing a campaign that aims to create a new generation of opera fans.

It's hoped that "Undress for the Opera" will help dispel the sometimes-stuffy image of opera, and convert young people into fans of the art form.

The programme, run by the English National Opera (ENO) which is based at the London Coliseum theatre, will involve a series of informal shows with no dress code. The audience will also have an introduction to the show, be able to download a synopsis of the opera, and be invited to a post-performance party with cast and company members. Prices for the best seats will be held at £25.

ENO Chief Exec. Loretta Tomasi, Damon Albarn, ENO Artistic Director John Berry and director Rufus Norris. Credit: John Stillwell/PA Wire

ENO artistic director John Berry said he wanted to build on the success of Doctor Dee, a contemporary opera written by Albarn and performed at the venue over the summer.

He said: "In a sense, Undress For The Opera, this new audience initiative, was really inspired by Doctor Dee and seeing a completely different audience in this magnificent theatre was so heart-warming."

Mr Berry said 30% of the ENO's audience was under 44 and they wanted to raise that to 40% in the next 12 to 18 months.