Britten's Gloriana

David McVicar (stage director), Ivor Bolton (conductor) — With Anna Caterina Antonacci (Queen Elizabeth I), Leonardo Capalbo (Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex), Paula Murrihy (Frances, Countess of Essex)...

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David McVicar — Stage director

Robert Jones — Scenography

Brigitte Reiffenstuel — Costumes

Adam Silverman — Lighting

Colm Seery — Choreographer

Anna Caterina Antonacci — Queen Elizabeth I

Leonardo Capalbo — Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex

Paula Murrihy — Frances, Countess of Essex

Duncan Rock — Charles Blount, Lord Mountjoy

Sophie Bevan — Penelope, Lady Rich

Leigh Melrose — Sir Robert Cecil

David Soar — Sir Walter Raleigh

Benedict Nelson — Henry Cuffe

Choir and Orchestra of the Teatro Real de Madrid

Ivor Bolton — Conductor

Program notes

First performed in June 1953 to mark the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, Benjamin Britten’s Gloriana painted a nuanced and complex portrait of the new queen’s predecessor in name. In her repeated clashes with the Earl of Essex—a longtime favorite of the queen who was ultimately put to death for treason—Elizabeth I is depicted as flawed and vain, human and sympathetic.

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