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Benjamin Britten's Gloriana

Sat 29th June 2013, 6:45pm

Live from Royal Opera House

Commissioned by the Royal Opera House and 'dedicated by gracious permission to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in honour of whose coronation it was composed', Britten's 'Gloriana' is the story of an old queen's infatuation with a hot-headed younger man.

At its premiere, there were mutterings that the opera's emphasis on an ageing, ungracious monarch was an inappropriate way to celebrate the coronation. But sixty years later it's easier see that with its masterly exploration of the tension between public and private, heart and duty, and its contrasting scenes of grandeur and intimacy, 'Gloriana' is in fact among the finest of Britten's operas.

Broadcast live from the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, starring Susan Bullock as the Virgin Queen and Toby Spence as the impetuous Earl of Essex.

Programme

Britten Gloriana

Performers

Susan Bullock Elizabeth I, Queen of England
Toby Spence Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex
Patricia Bardon Frances Devereux, Lady Essex
Mark Stone Charles Blount, Lord Mountjoy
Kate Royal Penelope, Lady Rich
Jeremy Carpenter Sir Robert Cecil
Clive Bayley Sir Walter Raleigh
Ben Bevan Henry Cuffe
Nadine Livingston Lady-in-Waiting
Brindley Sherratt Blind Ballad Singer
Jeremy White Recorder of Norwich
Carol Rowlands Housewife
Andrew Tortise Spirit of the Masque
David Butt Philip Master of Ceremonies
Michel de Souza City Crier
Chorus and orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
Paul Daniel conductor