For a good eight months now, we have been under the impression that graphic novelist Alan Moore (aka the dude behind, Watchmen, V for Vendetta, From Hell) has been working with Damon Albarn and artist Jamie Hewlett on a Gorillaz-related opera project about Elizabethan alchemist/philosopher John Dee.
The impression came from comments Moore made to Mustard last November that he was planning “to do the libretto on their next opera project” in exchange for an appearance by Gorillaz in his new magazine, Dodgem Logic.
Well, as TwentyFourBit points out, all that didn’t go according to plan. Speaking recently at the University of Northampton, Moore revealed that he has since dropped out of the project because “it didnt work out, shall we say.
Basically, Moore wrote about a third of libretto, plus took on several other roles, including “designing the stage, making suggestions for all the costumes, stage directions, the whole story, so that was practically like everything.”
He was even willing to complete the entire project himself: “I said, ‘Yeah, I can get the other two-thirds of the opera done by February, middle of March at the latest. It will mean working flat out, but I can do it. You still alright for that deadline on Issue 3?’ And they said ‘Yep.'”
But, according to Moore, Gorillaz never met that deadline “because even though we extended it for them they had too many commitments.” So, he noted, “I decided I had too many commitments as well. And since I had never received any money or a contract, I was alright saying, ‘Yeah, I’m pulling out of this.’ [ ] I said, ‘You can do your own opera about Dr. Dee, I don’t own Dr. Dee, I don’t own the concept of opera.'” And there you have it.
There is no word on whether Gorillaz will continue on with their opera, but we do know we’ll at least get to hear Moore’s libretto. It will be included in the next issue of the journal Strange Attractor.
In better news for Gorillaz fans, the band is set to release to release “On Melancholy Hill” as its next single. A digitial bundle will be available starting June 26th and includes the single plus the video along with remixes by Japanese Popstars, She Is Danger, and a new remix of “Stylo” by Labyrinth featuring Tinie Tempah. A video for the song will be revealed tomorrow — or maybe today — so look out for that soon. Update: Per a new interview with NPR, Albarn and Hewlett confirm that Gorillaz will tour the U.S. in October.