- Arnold Whittall
Comic opera in three acts, op.39, by Benjamin Britten to a libretto by eric Crozier, after Guy de Maupassant’s short story Le rosier de Madame Husson; Glyndebourne, 20 June 1947.
After the stormy inception of Peter Grimes at Sadler’s Wells, Britten and Eric Crozier were among those who decided to launch a new, independent and progressive opera company. The English Opera Group was first associated with Glyndebourne, but this relationship gave rise to problems (connected with touring The Rape of Lucretia), and in the early days of 1947 the fully independent English Opera Group was finally established. Even so, Britten’s second chamber opera was first performed, under his direction, at Glyndebourne, alongside a revival of Lucretia, with Peter Pears in the title role, Joan Cross as Lady Billows and a supporting cast including Nancy Evans and Margaret Ritchie. But Britten and his friends were now determined to establish their own centre for performance. The Aldeburgh Festival was set up, and ...