LONDON (Reuters) - The Royal Opera House will mark the 60th anniversary of the queen’s coronation with a new staging of Benjamin Britten’s opera “Gloriana,” which explores the relationship between the ageing Queen Elizabeth I and her favourite, the Earl of Essex.
The work, which was poorly received when it first appeared in 1953, will be directed by Richard Jones, the man behind “Anna Nicole,” the Royal Opera House’s controversial opera about the life of celebrity Playboy model Anna Nicole Smith.
The 2013 production will also mark the centenary of Britten’s birth in 1913.
Susan Bullock will sing the role of the “Virgin Queen” while Toby Spence will portray the “hot-headed” Essex, the opera house said as it announced the 2012/13 season on Wednesday.
The opera includes a “haunting” scene in which the queen meditates on her reign and on death.
Among the other highlights from the upcoming season will be Spanish tenor Placido Domingo who will take on another baritone role in Guiseppe Verdi’s early work “Nabucco”.
The 200th anniversary of Verdi’s birth in 1813 is also celebrated with revivals of “Don Carlo” and “Simon Boccanegra,” while the bi-centenary of the birth of German composer Richard Wagner is marked with the monumental Ring cycle.
The Ring cycle, which opens the new season in September, sold out within hours on the first day of public booking, and will be dedicated to Hungarian conductor Georg Solti who was born in 1912.
Other big names to appear in 2012/13 include U.S. soprano Renee Fleming as Countess Madeleine in a concert performance of Richard Strauss’s “Capriccio,” French-Italian tenor Roberto Alagna in “L‘elisir d‘amore” and Romanian soprano Angela Gheorghiu in “La rondine”.
Reporting by Mike Collett-White