is an opera
by Benjamin Britten
, with words by Britten and William Plomer
, one of the musical celebration
s of the Coronation
of Elizabeth II
It tells of Elizabeth I's love of Essex and her division between personal feelings and duty. In the first act there is a duel between Essex and Mountjoy. Essex warns of the threat of the Armada, and is appointed to quell a rebellion in Ireland. In the last act, he rebels against the queen and is sentenced to death.
Gloriana was not successful in its first season, but a 1966 revival brought it within the standard repertoire.
Gloriana is also the Grand Duchess
of the microscopic English-speaking European principality of Grand Fenwick
in the two Ealing comedies The Mouse that Roared
(1959) and The Mouse on the Moon
(1963). She was played by Peter Sellers
in the first and Margaret Rutherford
in the second.