Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Gloriana was an original opera written by Benjamin Britten on the occasion of Queen Elizabeth II's coronation in 1953. The libretto celebrates the fabled romance of the Queen's mother Elizabeth I and the Earl of Essex. The story had been previously dramatized by Maxwell Anderson's play Elizabeth the Queen, upon which this opera is heavily reliant. Sarah Walker and Anthony Rolfe Johnson sing the leading roles with a robustness that virtually bursts through the camera lens. This 1984 staging of Gloriana was produced for British television.