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Your reaction: Gloriana

A selection of your tweets from the opening night of Richard Jones's new production.

By Lottie Butler (Former Assistant Content Producer (News and Social Media))

21 June 2013 at 11.03am | 11 Comments

Gloriana runs from 20 June to 6 July. Tickets are available now.
It will also be screened live in cinemas on 24 June, marking the close of the ROH live Cinema Season 2012/13. It will also be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 at 6.45pm on 29 June.

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.

By Lottie Butler (Former Assistant Content Producer (News and Social Media))

21 June 2013 at 11.03am

This article has been categorised Music, Opera and tagged Benjamin Britten, by Richard Jones, Gloriana, premiere, Queen Elizabeth I, review, Susan Bullock, Toby Spence, your reaction

This article has 11 comments

  1. Jenny Crawford responded on 22 June 2013 at 4:02pm Reply

    A brilliant performance. The music is interesting but the performance/staging is amazing. Might go again!

  2. Mark Baker responded on 23 June 2013 at 2:55am Reply

    Intelligent production of a flawed piece - much of the music is second-pressing Britten, with Budd and the Spring Symphony writ large. Great ensemble cast with the underrated Patricia Bardon and Clive Bayley excellent. Brindley Sherratt had a wonderful cameo. Plaudits go to Paul Daniel and the orchestra most of all.

  3. Roy Hiscock responded on 23 June 2013 at 9:48am Reply

    Gloriana 22.06.13: performance very good, producer should be shot. "Stage-within-a-stage" has to be thought through seriously to be effective - this production was neither

    • J Brand responded on 25 June 2013 at 12:13pm

      Completely agree with you. The SW/ENO and Opera North productions both revealed this as a fine opera. The CG production reduced it to the level of an amateur village pageant with 'jokey' scene changes which added some 15 to 20 minutes to the running time. Nothing to do with Britten.

    • John Saxon Jones responded on 4 July 2013 at 7:29pm

      I agree 100%. An object lesson in how not to produce opera!

  4. richard bird responded on 24 June 2013 at 11:24pm Reply

    A brilliant evening at the cinema (Purley Way, Croydon) which would have been further improved had the crucial last 10 minutes not been replaced by a blank screen. A transmission fault or a not so subtle reminder of post war hardships?
    I hope you will find some way of repeating the screening for those of us traditionalists who like a proper ending!

  5. Helen Lewis responded on 25 June 2013 at 12:43am Reply

    Some fine singing especially from Bardon, Royal and Stone, but all the singers were hampered by slow scene changing, which broke any mood or tension, and a poorly conceived, fussy production: what on earth was the point of it? Not a patch on the terrific Opera North production in the 90s- did Richard Jones understand the opera or was he merely embarrassed by it?

  6. JohnG responded on 25 June 2013 at 8:58am Reply

    Having defended the intelligent staging of La Donna del Lago against its many critics, I find myself at odds with these enthusiastic comments on the staging of Gloriana. This is a pageant opera about power and needs to reflect that rather than mock it as a community-hall amateur event. Utz’s treatment, which worked well in Glyndeborne’s Falstaff, belittled the drama and thus undermined the score. The production was at its nadir when the director/designer fully indulged themselves, especially in the Norwich scene. The exposure of the Queen as a raddled old woman – highly moving in the orchestra and heroically performed by Susan Bullock - was mocked by putting it into a tacky birthday-card setting. The singers tried valiantly to enact strong emotions about love and power, but were forced to do so in a setting which reduced them to toy-town puppets. When the opera really clicked – in the later scenes – it was because the singers and orchestra followed the music in spite of the production. Overall it was one of the worst of the many productions I have seen in this beloved theatre.
    It’s perfectly legitimate not to admire Gloriana, which isn’t among Britten’s best and is obviously a very difficult opera to stage. For that reason, it is worth staging only if the management can find a director and designer who are passionate about it and respect the music and the story. Since the drama lies in the music and plot, a concert version would have been more effective than this cluttered, distracting, disparaging production.

  7. les fuller responded on 25 June 2013 at 12:46pm Reply

    watched via live link to Theatre in the Round Scarboro,
    not a big Britain fan but well performed, Toby the consummate professional and madam Bullock.
    Great entertainment and method of getting such performances to northern folk...

  8. Tony Deacon responded on 26 June 2013 at 5:07am Reply

    I saw this at our local Kino cinema with my wife and son. I've struggled with Britten in the past, but this production I found really engaging. I (we) loved the clutter and distraction: it was so British; you would never find a production like this outside the UK. The visible scenery changes were pretty slick: at no point so ponderous or tedious that they were an irritation or posed a problem with continuity,
    Susan Bullock embraced the role of the decrepit queen with great bravery: a marvellous performance. Toby Spence's portrayal of the mercurial and faulted Essex was superb and several of the other roles were excellent. At one point, I thought Brindley Sherratt was about to break into 'Old Man River' (What a lovely voice!).
    We came home with much to talk about. Any negatives were vastly outweighed by the good things. A memorable production.
    And again, may I add my appreciation and support for these live cinema broadcasts of operatic productions.

  9. John Saxon Jones responded on 4 July 2013 at 7:20pm Reply

    I've known and loved Gloriana since the opening of the wonderful Colin Graham production at Sadler's Wells way back in the 1960's. I'm afraid that this production appeared to not take the piece seriously and thus we were served a 'Dad's Army' version. Much of the singing was fine (even better on radio) but, for me, it was a visual dog's dinner. The SW version treated the piece with realistically and worked brilliantly. The Opera North version - although slightly odd - again worked much better than this one. No wonder young people think the opera is a poor example of Britten's work when it is produced with such apparent little respect.

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