But his opera with dancing, Gloriana, was a slightly controversial celebration of monarchy. While staged with a 1950s backdrop, it focused somewhat unflatteringly on the reign of Elizabeth I, as the indomitable queen resisted the onset of the years.
The skilled composer wove the sounds of British modernity with the musical legacy of Tudor England, and the production at the Royal Opera House in 2013 is a spectacular pageant, being streamed during lockdown.
Susan Bullock sings a jealous Elizabeth I, with Toby Spence (left, in gold) as the Earl of Essex
The soprano Susan Bullock is the Tudor queen, ambitious and jealous. Tenor Toby Spence sings the Earl of Essex, with Mark Stone as Mountjoy.
Clive Bayley is a creepy Sir Walter Raleigh, Patricia Bardon is Essex's wife, Frances, whose beauty the queen envies, and listen out for the amazing bass Brindley Sherratt as the Blind Ballad Singer.
Paul Daniel conducts the Orchestra and Chorus of the Royal Opera House and Richard Jones directs. Sets by Ultz have something of the village harvest festival about them, with veg stacked high in colourful walls. Gloriana could hardly take audiences further from our lives today...
Gloriana is the latest addition to the Royal Opera Houses' From Our House to Your House season. Click here for previous dance and opera productions
|What||Gloriana, Royal Opera House online|
|Where||Online | MAP|
On 24 Apr 20, Available online for 30 days, free of charge
|Website||Click here for more information|