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  • Arnold Whittall


Opera in three acts, op.53, by Benjamin Britten to a libretto by William Plomer ; London, Covent Garden, 8 June 1953.

Commissioned by the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Gloriana is ‘dedicated by gracious permission to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in honour of whose coronation it was composed’. It is set in the later years of Elizabeth I’s reign, and at the time of the première the opera’s emphasis on an aging, ungracious monarch was felt in some quarters to be inappropriate; the work has not been extensively revived, though a successful ENO production (...

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