English composer Benjamin Britten wrote and mounted his three-act opera Gloriana in 1953, for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Set in the sixteenth century, the work dramatizes the shifting relationship between Elizabeth I and the Earl of Essex. It opens (in Act One) with Mountjoy and Essex jousting for the Queen's favor. Although Mountjoy wins, Essex manages to woo Her Majesty away from the victor, who is also busy courting Penelope. Meanwhile, Essex threatens to declare war against Ireland. In the final act, he and the Irish rebel Tyrone manage to establish a truce, but Essex bursts in on Elizabeth to share the encouraging news - in her boudoir, at a moment when she is dressing. The monarch issues a death warrant on his head and refuses to officiate a pardon. The innovative director Phyllida Lloyd adapted Britten's opera for film cameras; that work ran on the BBC in 1999, and now appears in this home release. It features Josephine Barstow as Elizabeth I, Tom Randle as The Earl of Essex and David Ellis as Lord Mountjoy. The Chorus of Opera North, and The English Northern Philharmonia, under the baton of Paul Daniel, provide musical accompaniment.
|Source:||Bbc / Opus Arte|
|Sound:||[stereo, DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound]|
Cast gallery; Interviews with Josephine Barstow, Phyllida Lloyd, Tom Randle, Paul Daniel