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Britten: Gloriana [DVD] 
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Benjamin Britten's opera, composed to celebrate the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. He took as his starting point Lytton Strachey's 'Elizabeth and Essex'. Sarah Walker and Anthony Rolfe Johnson star.
Top customer reviews
Anthony Rolfe Johnson is in lovely voice as Essex and its good to see such ENO stalwarts are Jean Rigby, Richard Van Allan and Alan Opie in other roles. The crowning glory in all this though - appropriately - is Sarah Walker as Elizabeth. I had no idea what a glorious singer and actress she is! A mezzo soprano who can also tackle the high notes in this role with ease - she is truly magnificent and successfully conveys all the Queen's many different moods throughout the piece. Highly recommended!
This is a glorious sounding Gloriana and has made me realise how special this opera is. This is far from being Britten's 'damp squib' composition. Indeed, I find it a work of great beauty, both subtle and thrilling. The finale is terribly moving. Britten surpassed himself for dramatic intensity in what was a composition of genius. This production helps us see just how good the opera is in the right hands. I recommend it. However, if you have the resources buy the Opera North one as well.
The opera itself is outstanding with powerful and moving music. Let's hope it remains a part of the standard repertoire.
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