Eric Crozier

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Eric Crozier OBE (14 November 1914 – 7 September 1994) was a British theatrical director and opera librettist, long associated with Benjamin Britten.

Crozier was born in London and studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and at the British Institute in Paris, working as a translator and giving English lessons. Returning to England, he became one of the first producers of plays for BBC Television.[1]

Crozier joined the Old Vic theatre, where he worked with Tyrone Guthrie, then moved to the Sadlers Wells Opera Company during the Second World War, where he directed The Bartered Bride (1943) and Britten's first opera, Peter Grimes in 1945. He founded the English Opera Group in 1947, and co-founded (with Britten) the Aldeburgh Festival in 1948. He directed his second wife, Nancy Evans, in the role of Lucretia in the 1946 premiere of Britten's opera The Rape of Lucretia at Glyndebourne, and later succeeded Peter Pears as director of the Aldeburgh Festival. He and Nancy were appointed OBEs in the 1991 New Year Honours list.[2]

Eric Crozier's first opera libretto for Britten was Albert Herring (1947), and he later wrote and/or directed several other Britten operas. Crozier also wrote the libretto for Ruth, a 1956 sacred opera by Lennox Berkeley, after the Old Testament Book of Ruth.[3] He also translated many opera librettos into English, including The Bartered Bride, La Traviata, Otello and Falstaff (with Joan Cross), and Idomeneo, Salome and Die Frau ohne Schatten.[1]

Crozier's and Nancy Evans' archives are preserved at Aldeburgh.[4] He died at Granville, France.


  1. ^ a b Biography, Royal Opera House
  2. ^ Calder, John. Obituary, The Independent, 23 October, 2011
  3. ^ Operas in English: A Dictionary Margaret Ross Griffel - 2012 - Page 427 0810883252 First performance October 2, 1956, London, Scala Theatre, English Opera Group, with Una Hale (Naomi), April Cantelo (Orpah), Anna Pollak (Ruth), Peter ...
  4. ^ "Britten-Pears Foundation - Home". Retrieved 30 July 2015.

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