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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 August 2006, 13:13 GMT 14:13 UK
Electric Proms to debut Who opera
Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend of The Who
The rock opera will be performed at the Roundhouse on 29 October
A mini-opera by The Who and the first performance of Damon Albarn's work with ex-Clash bassist Paul Simonon have been confirmed for the BBC's Electric Proms.

The opera is "a concept piece" about three children forming a rock band, Who guitarist Pete Townshend said.

Albarn told BBC Radio 1 that The Good, The Bad and The Queen was "the follow-on record" to Blur's Parklife.

The five-day festival, a spin-off from the classical Proms, takes place around Camden in north London in late October.

It will also feature Mercury Music Prize nominees The Guillemots, who will perform with the BBC Concert Orchestra.

'Concept pieces'

The 11-song opera is part of "a tradition around The Who to do concept pieces," Townshend explained to BBC Radio 1.

It is about "three kids who form a band and they discover a stash of papers by some has-been rock star, talking about a massive internet experiment," he said.

"It just seemed to me to be an appropriate thing to play."

He added he was delighted to take part in the event because "the BBC are legendary at their treatment of the normal Proms".

Damon Albarn
It's a very English record. It's the first time I've really written about home since Parklife
Damon Albarn

It was "wonderful" these were being expanded to pop and rock music, he said.

The Good, The Bad and The Queen is a collaboration between Albarn, Simonon and Simon Tong, a member of Gorillaz - with Albarn - and 1990s indie group The Verve.

It was "a story" rather than a band, said Albarn, adding he was "very, very proud" of the work, which will be performed on 26 October at the Roundhouse.

"It's a very English record. It's the first time I've really written about home since Parklife," he said.

The sound of the composition was "very cosmopolitan" with "a lot of songs that have got historical stories to them", Albarn added.

A number of other acts were still to be confirmed for the festival, the BBC said.

The first batch of tickets go on sale on Wednesday.

As well as gigs, venues are being used for film screenings, art and masterclasses, with highlights available across TV and radio, and the BBC's website.


SEE ALSO
Blur singer records with new band
31 Jul 06 |  Entertainment
The Who scrap world tour webcasts
28 Jul 06 |  Entertainment
Proms branch out to rock and pop
10 Jul 06 |  Entertainment
The Who recreate 1970 Leeds gig
19 Jun 06 |  Entertainment
Rockers thrill their generation
18 Jun 06 |  Entertainment
Singer Albarn pens stage musical
15 Feb 06 |  Entertainment

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