Gloriana appreciation thread

Started by Rinaldo, June 04, 2021, 12:44:21 AM

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On my yesterday walk home, the setting sun lit up the Prague National theatre and I recalled the opening fanfares of a – pun not intended – glorious production of Britten's Gloriana I saw there years ago.

An opera shunned at its premiere but one that is getting some love in recent decades, I wanted to hear its brass intro again, went straight to YouTube and hey, few months back, someone has uploaded the entire ENO 1984 production:

I've yet to see the whole performance but will certainly find some time to do so. The Lute Song is still among the most beautiful arias I've ever heard.

Any Gloriana fans here?


I love it. I saw it when the ENO toured the U.S. in 1984, and it played in New Orleans as part of the Louisiana World Exposition that year. I've got the DVD of that ENO production, and the Mackerras recording on CD.
"Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." ― Mark Twain

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A fine opera, indeed. Some gorgeous music within it. I first became acquainted with through the symphonic suite, which I still listen to more than the full opera.


I saw that ENO production when they toured it in the 1970s, with Ava June as Elizabeth, and I remember it as being visually sumptuous as well as very exciting.

I've also seen the video of the 1984 revival with Sarah Walker.

There's another video available too, based on Phyllida Law's production for Opera North, which starred Josephine Barstow

and a further one from Covent Garden, starring Susan Bullock

The opera has never enjoyed the success of some of Britten's other operas, but I really like it. I have the Mackerras sound only recording, again with Barstow as the Queen.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas


Cross posted from the What Opera Are You Listening To Now thread.

quote author=Tsaraslondon link=topic=26890.msg1383579#msg1383579 date=1627491736]

I have always liked Gloriana, right from the first time I saw it in the early 1970s in a visually resplendent production by Colin Graham for Sadlers Wells Opera, with Ava June as the Queen. I saw it again when it was revived, this time with Sarah Walker and it is good that the production was finally captured on film.

The opera suffered from a deal of negative press after its rather cool reception in 1953 and consequently is absent from the series of recordings Britten made of all his operas for Decca. The opera was revived in the early 1990s, first by Welsh National Opera and then by Opera North with Josephine Barstow as Elisabeth and this spendid 1993 studo recording is based on these performances.

Honestly, I like the opera more every time I hear it.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas