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Albert Herring - Benjamin Britten

Information about the opera Albert Herring by Benjamin Britten, and the best recordings available on CD or DVD, or for download.

Britten depicts the comic side of life in a small English market town.


Mother's-boy Albert Herring is elected May King because none of the local girls are considered worthy of being May Queen, but shatters everyone's expectations by going off for a night on the tiles after being slipped a laced drink at the crowning ceremony.

Recommended recordings on CD

Bedford/Gillett/Barstow (Naxos 8.660107-08)


An excellent performance originally published by Collins, surpassing Britten's own classic version, and even more attractive now that Naxos have released it at budget price.

Northern Sinfonia, conducted by Steuart Bedford, 1997.

Cast: Christopher Gillett (Albert Herring), Dame Josephine Barstow (Lady Billows), Felicity Palmer (Florence), Peter Savidge (Pike), Gerald Finley (Mr Gedge).

Naxos 8.660107-08

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Buy as download:
Classics Online

Britten/Pears/Fisher (Decca 421 849-2)

421 849-2

Britten's own recording, and the definitive version.

English Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Benjamin Britten, 1964.

Cast: Sir Peter Pears (Albert Herring), Sylvia Fisher (Lady Billows).

Decca 421 849-2

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Also included in the boxed set:
Britten Operas 1