Live Cinema Season

Gloriana (2013)

Recorded | Opera

Running time: 3:00 (including two intervals)

Gloriana (2013)

Award-winning director Richard Jones (Il trittico, Anna Nicole) directs a Gloriana for our time, framing the depiction of the 16th-century Queen in a setting that re-creates the excitement of our own Queen’s Coronation year.


Queen Elizabeth I is approaching the end of her reign. Her affection for the impulsive Earl of Essex is tested when he grows increasingly ambitious. Should she listen to the guidance of her advisors or be swayed by emotion?


Benjamin Britten’s Gloriana was commissioned by the Royal Opera House to mark the coronation of Elizabeth II in 1953. William Plomer drew on Lytton Strachey’s Elizabeth and Essex to create the libretto, which artfully combines modern and archaic forms of English. Britten’s score is similarly diverse: it mixes the sounds and manners of Tudor England – from lute songs to courtly dances – with the composer’s own distinctive style.

Moving from the pomp of state ceremony to the intimacy of the Queen’s private rooms, Gloriana depicts the public and private faces of the Virgin Queen, and the deterioration of her relationship with the impulsive Earl of Essex. Director Richard Jones is known at the Royal Opera House for his characterful interpretations of Il trittico, The Gambler and Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk.



Richard Jones



Lighting design

Mimi Jordan Sherin


Lucy Burge


Paul Daniel
Elizabeth I, Queen of England
Susan Bullock
Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex
Toby Spence
Frances Devereux, Lady Essex
Patricia Bardon
Charles Blount, Lord Mountjoy
Mark Stone
Penelope, Lady Rich
Kate Royal
Sir Robert Cecil
Jeremy Carpenter
Sir Walter Raleigh
Clive Bayley
Henry Cuffe
Benjamin Bevan
Nadine Livingston
Blind Ballad Singer
Brindley Sherratt
Recorder of Norwich
Jeremy White
Carol Rowlands
Spirit of the Masque
Andrew Tortise
Master of Ceremonies
David Butt Philip
City Crier
Michel de Souza
Royal Opera Chorus
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House

News and features

To find out more visit the Gloriana (2013) production page.