Lennox Berkeley: Nelson Opera In Three Acts
The opera centres on the love affair of Horatio Nelson, and Emma, Lady Hamilton. Completed in 1951, it was first performed in full in 1954. The British Embassy in Naples is the scene of a birthday party for Nelson, arranged to celebrate his victory at the Nile. He appears with ‘the sadness of the world upon his lips’ and while the other guests are dancing, Nelson, with Emma Hamilton, the Ambassador’s wife, beside him, hears a servant foretell his future unhappiness. This releases the passionate feelings of the couple for each other and the conflict in their lives.