28 June 2013 at 3.40pm | 1 Comment
Susan Bullock as Queen Elizabeth I, Toby Spence as the Earl of Essex and Patricia Bardon as Countess of Essex in Gloriana © ROH / Clive Barda 2013
The story and its origins
The opera, which was commissioned to celebrate the coronation of the Queen in 1953, is based on Lytton Strachey’s Elizabeth and Essex and depicts the public and private trials of Elizabeth I at the end of her reign. Find out more about the story with our Opera Essentials guide, and take a look at politically-themed operas.
Gloriana was written, like many of Britten’s operas, in Aldeburgh. Watch Susan Bullock and Britten biographer John Bridcut on the coastal town that inspired Britten.
View rehearsal photos from the original 1953 production:
The opera is a famous example of depicting the monarchy on stage. Find out more about the history of royalty on stage, including a look at the historical role of the censor.
The staging and rehearsals
Richard Jones’s production is set in 1953 and features a stage within a stage. Watch footage from rehearsals featuring conductor Paul Daniel working with the cast:
Review the show
Gloriana runs until 6 July. Tickets are still available.
This production has been made possible thanks to the generous philanthropic support of the Britten-Pears Foundation, the Boltini Trust and Lindsay and Sarah Tomlinson.