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Gloriana


Beryl H
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I went last night and on the whole I enjoyed it though I hope it was just first night nerves with Queen Elizabeth.  The action takes place in a village hall with a pageant of the kings & queens of England, when they get to Elizabeth I the opera begins and it is full of inventive ideas.  The dance content (minimal) isn't worth going to watch specially.

 

Toby Spence sang the role of the Earl of Essex, the queen's love interest, and it was nice to see him recovered from the very grave illness he has been suffering from; he sounded great too.

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Gloriana, I feel, is worth a viewing/listening. I've seen it before, and also at the first night of this ROH production. There's some lovely, and very varied, music in it.

The dancing includes some Tudor Elizabethan style, plus the two ballet students, the latter being kind of thing that might have been included in a pageant performed before the queen (the second Elizabeth) to celebrate her coronation and to show the local talent. And yes, lovely to see Toby Spence back.

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This Arts Desk review might help:

 

http://www.theartsdesk.com/opera/gloriana-royal-opera

 

 

Edited to add: Beryl, you mention music of the period.  BBC Radio 4 has just broadcast an hour-long play, Suspicion for 10 Voices, with Simon Russell Beale as William Byrd being charged and questioned about his tendency to hide Catholic references in his work.  Excellent - with, Beale, I think, starting the Mass for Four Voices, right at the end before a recording took over.  Presumably it'll be on iPlayer for the next week.

Edited by Ian Macmillan
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Many thanks, this is such a good introduction to the opera, much better than anything on the ROH website, like many people my interest in music, especially dances, of this period was due to The Six Wives of Henry the Eighth on the BBC, followed by Elizabeth, David Munrow and his Early Music Consort of London did so much to popularise this music and I have several CD's.

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I got one of the few remaining seats for the showing in Cambridge last night, and I'm delighted that I did.  There's quite a bit to be got over in accepting the main action overlaid on a 1953 village pageant, but I found that I settled to it quickly and enjoyed the production.  I was 12 then and remember streets decked with bunting - my Mum made a large Saltire (St Andrew's Cross) that adorned part of our house - and going to a Great-Uncle's for a family gathering on Coronation Day.  (I'm sure I still have a paper napkin somewhere, signed by all there - oh, and whilst it poured in London, I recall it being quite a bright day around Glasgow.)  So I can claim some feel for the spirit of the time and I'd say the staging of the pageant was pretty accurately done with an attention to period detail.

 

Susan Bullock's Elizabeth I was, overall, a tour de force - and particularly in her portrayal of the disintegrating, old Queen in the final Act.  No complaints either about the other main characters and a huge Bravo to Brindley Sherratt for his brief bur highly effective Blind ballad-Singer.  All in all, at cinema prices, a bargain!

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I got one of the few remaining seats for the showing in Cambridge last night, and I'm delighted that I did.  There's quite a bit to be got over in accepting the main action overlaid on a 1953 village pageant, but I found that I settled to it quickly and enjoyed the production.  I was 12 then and remember streets decked with bunting - my Mum made a large Saltire (St Andrew's Cross) that adorned part of our house - and going to a Great-Uncle's for a family gathering on Coronation Day.  (I'm sure I still have a paper napkin somewhere, signed by all there - oh, and whilst it poured in London, I recall it being quite a bright day around Glasgow.)  So I can claim some feel for the spirit of the time and I'd say the staging of the pageant was pretty accurately done with an attention to period detail.

 

Susan Bullock's Elizabeth I was, overall, a tour de force - and particularly in her portrayal of the disintegrating, old Queen in the final Act.  No complaints either about the other main characters and a huge Bravo to Brindley Sherratt for his brief bur highly effective Blind ballad-Singer.  All in all, at cinema prices, a bargain!

 

It always seems to pour for these big royal occasions leaving me to firmly believe that God is a republican.

 

I have a big school photo of my entire infant school to mark the coronation and the little boys all wore uniforms identical to the kiddies in the opera, the designers certainly got the period right.

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I had no problem getting a ticket, there were only about 10 of us there, shame as it had been packed for Nutcracker, the picture was crystal clear,  it gave me a view of the singers I could never have got at the ROH,  thoroughly enjoyed it although I could have done with more actual songs (or arias), the only problem was a background rumble, I heard it as soon as I entered the cinema and it did mess up the quieter music. Thought the student dancers were very poised in the masque, and the other dancers fantastic in the Whitehall scene, especially the Volta, some difficult steps and lifts to do. 

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