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Penguin Guide, January 2009

This 1999 production by Opera North, filmed for the BBC the following year, is a compelling and powerful one. Josephine Barstow’s portrayal of Queen Elizabeth I could not be more magisterial and Tom Randle’s Essex is hardly less convincing. A very strong cast with a strong sense of dramatic purpose and a first-class orchestral response under Paul Daniel…the performance is firs class, camerawork otherwise unobtrusive and the recording vivid and well balanced. Hugely enjoyable and rewarding.

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