Proceedings of the 2018 4th International Conference on Social Science and Higher Education (ICSSHE 2018)

An Analytical Reading of Gloriana: a Ceremonial Opera of the Twentieth Century

Authors
Chih-Yuan Mai
Corresponding Author
Chih-Yuan Mai
Available Online September 2018.
DOI
https://doi.org/10.2991/icsshe-18.2018.65How to use a DOI?
Keywords
Civil ritual, English libretti, Mythic narrative, Masque
Abstract
Gloriana, an opera based on the life of Queen Elizabeth I was Benjamin Britten and William Plomer’s attempt to construct a national myth for a new era. The work is dedicated for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Opera, as being a ritualistic art form, has played a crucial role in the series of coronation ceremonies in 1953. With the secularisation of the Western societies, civil rituals have gradually replaced religious ceremonies to be the binding force of a nation. Gloriana represents a form of civil ritual in a secularised society. However, by employing Queen Elizabeth I’s controversial love affair with the Earl of Essex in her twilight years as the backdrop of the piece, the librettist and the composer have not only muffled the focus of the work but also creates several dramatic problems. The paper intends to explore the libretto of Gloriana as a piece of theatrical writing; elaborates the ceremonial elements in the opera, analyses its dramatic purposes and finally discusses the opus’ weaknesses which prevent the opera becoming one of the of operatic canon of the twentieth-century.
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TY  - CONF
AU  - Chih-Yuan Mai
PY  - 2018/09
DA  - 2018/09
TI  - An Analytical Reading of Gloriana: a Ceremonial Opera of the Twentieth Century
BT  - Proceedings of the 2018 4th International Conference on Social Science and Higher Education (ICSSHE 2018)
PB  - Atlantis Press
SP  - 264
EP  - 268
SN  - 2352-5398
UR  - https://doi.org/10.2991/icsshe-18.2018.65
DO  - https://doi.org/10.2991/icsshe-18.2018.65
ID  - Mai2018/09
ER  -