Michael Tanner

Opera review: Britten’s Gloriana may be a failure but it still manages to shock

The most surprising thing about Benjamin Britten’s coronation opera Gloriana, for me, is that it merely fell rather flat at its first performance. The composer, we read, had insisted on its virtually official status as part of the coronation proceedings, and it seems to have been his major bid to be accepted as an establishment figure, and not merely as the most significant of the younger generation of composers.

Already a subscriber? Log in

Keep reading with a free trial

Subscribe and get your first month of online and app access for free. After that it’s just £1 a week.

There’s no commitment, you can cancel any time.


Unlock more articles



Don't miss out

Join the conversation with other Spectator readers. Subscribe to leave a comment.

Already a subscriber? Log in