'Gloriana' is a work I hardly know at all! I listened to the recording with Josephine Barstow many years ago but remembered very little of it. Told in a series of 'tableaux' from Elizabeth's life and her relationship with Essex, the narrative is episodic but effective, the music wide ranging with definite homage paid to Elizabethan music of the time. This (quite elderly now) ENO production is very traditional in both costumes and sets but the picture and sound quality are both very good and it doesn't show its age at all.
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!
3 people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?