Opera Scotland

Burning Fiery Furnace The Burning Fiery Furnace


Benjamin Britten (born Lowestoft, 22 November 1913; died Aldeburgh, 4 December 1976.


William Plomer.


Biblical - The Book of Daniel, Chapter 3.



First Performance: Orford, Suffolk (Orford Church), 9 June 1966.

First Performance in Scotland: Edinburgh (St Mary's Cathedral), 29 August 1968.



In the nineteen-sixties, after the mighty War Requiem, Britten temporarily abandoned large-scale dramatic forms. Instead he developed a new style of intimate music drama, the 'Parable for Church Performance'.

The first was Curlew River, a fascinating tragedy derived from a mediaeval Japanese 'Noh' drama, Sumidagawa, which Britten and Plomer relocated to the bleak landscape of East Anglia. The second of the trilogy, The Burning Fiery Furnace, was the first to have a biblical theme. The last was The Prodigal Son, also biblical in origin.



Nebuchadnezzar (tenor)

Abbot & Astrologer (baritone)

Herald (baritone)

Misael (tenor)

Ananias (baritone)

Azarias (bass)

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