English National Opera has announced a special one-off concert of Benjamin Britten’s Gloriana at the London Coliseum on Thursday 8 December 2022.
Originally written to celebrate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, this concert will be staged this year in celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
Concerning her namesake and the last Tudor monarch Elizabeth I, the opera depicts a Queen at her strongest, yet perhaps at her most human as her affections for favoured courtier Robert Devereaux, the Earl of Essex, are tested by a series of plots.
Gloriana is one of Britten’s greatest large-scale opera and this concert marks the first time the company has performed this piece since 1984.
This performance is conducted by the ENO’s Music Director Martyn Brabbins, leading the award-winning ENO Orchestra and Chorus in this grand work at a time of national celebration.
The concert will star Christine Rice, one of Britain’s leading mezzo-sopranos, as Elizabeth I; tenor Robert Murray as Elizabeth’s favourite, Robert Devereaux; mezzo-soprano Paula Murrihy as Robert’s wife Frances, Countess of Essex; Baritone Duncan Rock as Charles Blount; former Harewood Artist soprano Sophie Bevan MBE as Penelope, Lady Rich; Charles Rice as Sir Robert Cecil; David Soar as Sir Walter Raleigh; and former ENO Harewood Artist Alex Otterburn as Henry Cuffe.
They are joined by current ENO Harewood Artist Alexandra Oomens as a Lady-in-Waiting, and former Harewood Claire Barnett-Jones as a Housewife. Current Harewood Artist Innocent Masuku sings the Spirit of the Masque.