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Due to the ongoing effects of closure at the Royal Opera House, information about artists is only updated periodically during this time. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Eric Crozier

Librettist

Biography

Eric Crozier (1914–94) was a British opera librettist and director, who wrote the librettos for Benjamin Britten’s Albert Herring (1947) and Let’s Make an Opera (1948) and co-wrote the libretto for Britten’s Billy Budd (1951).

Crozier was interested in theatre from childhood onward, and in adolescence developed a passion for the works of Chekhov. He studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and at the British Institute in Paris, where he worked as a translator and gave English lessons. He became one of the first producers for BBC Television. After World War II he worked with Tyrone Guthrie at the Old Vic, and then worked for Sadler’s Wells, where his productions included The Bartered Bride (1943) and the world premiere of Peter Grimes (1945). In 1946 he directed the premiere of The Rape of Lucretia for Glyndebourne. He became co-founder, with Britten, of the English Opera Group (1947) and of Aldeburgh Festival (1948). With his second wife, the singer Nancy Evans, he taught at the Britten-Pears School for Advanced Musical Studies at Snape Maltings. The couple were awarded OBEs in 1991.

Crozier also wrote the libretto for Lennox Berkeley’s Ruth, and translated many opera librettos into English, including The Bartered Bride, La traviata, Otello and Falstaff (with Joan Cross), and Idomeneo, Salome and Die Frau ohne Schatten. He was also a keen amateur poet, and a bibliophile.