Opera Scotland

Gloriana 1967Sadler's Wells Opera

Read more about the opera Gloriana

Although Gloriana had a reasonable run of performances in London followed by a national tour, it gained an undeserved reputation as a failure because the opening night audience of international dignitaries in 1953 seemed to be unhappy with it.

The Australian dramatic soprano Sylvia Fisher had been a member of the Covent Garden company at that time, with roles including Leonore and Isolde. She must have seen much of the preparation for the premiere. Later, Fisher took over several Britten roles created by Joan Cross, including Lady Billows and Mrs Grose. She was therefore ideally placed to appear in the first attempts to resurrect Gloriana - a Festival Hall concert in 1963 followed by this 1966 staging, by Britten expert Colin Graham, at Sadler's Wells. This successful production stayed in the repertoire long after the move to the Coliseum. Following Fisher's retirement, the title role was taken by Ava June, then finally Sarah Walker, and that last revival was filmed for posterity.

This pair of performances was the only occasion when Colin Graham's staging was shown in Scotland, though Alix Stone's lavish costumes were borrowed by Haddo House in 1989. The conductor, Mario Bernardi, and several of the principals (including John Wakefield, John Cameron, and Don Garrard) were as for the opening night a few months before.

Cast details are from a programme for 10 April in the OperaScotland collection.

Performance DatesGloriana 1967

Map List

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

3 Apr, 19.30

Alhambra Theatre, Glasgow | Glasgow

10 Apr, 19.30

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