Herring, Albert

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(Britten: Albert Herring). Ten. Son of Mrs Herring. He helps his mother to run the greengrocer's and is totally dominated by her. Watching the way Sid and Nancy behave together, he realizes he is missing something, but ‘mum’ will not allow him to have girlfriends. To his discomfort, he is elected May King, an honour his mother forces him to accept as it carries a prize of 25 sovereigns. At the crowning ceremony, his lemonade is spiked by Sid. Albert discovers he likes the taste, and gradually becomes more and more drunk. Under the influence of the alcohol he goes off the rails and sows his wild oats. He is reported missing, and while everyone is mourning his supposed death he quietly reappears. He remembers little of the previous evening—he admits he has been drinking and with girls and has spent a fair amount of his prize money. He likes his new‐found freedom and is not going to allow his mother to dominate him any more. Arias: He's much too busy; Albert the Good!; Heaven helps those; I can't remember everything. An outstanding Albert in recent years was John Graham Hall. Created (1947) by Peter Pears.

Subjects: Opera.

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