Great Britten

This year marks the centenary of Benjamin Britten’s birth, with a range of ongoing events to honour the great British composer, who died in 1976. This month the Royal Opera House stages his opera Gloriana(from 20 June) which in fact it commissioned 60 years ago to mark Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation. Set at the end of Elizabeth I’s reign, it portrays her close friendship with the Earl of Essex and how it was put to the test in the face of his ruthless ambition.