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In October 2005 it was two centuries since Horatio Nelson died
while commanding the British Fleet off Cape Trafalgar. Throughout
most of that time Nelson's victories and his heroic death were
smoothly assimilated within Britain's twin vision of itself as
imperial power, and plucky, often-isolated defender of
Nelson's story is almost archetypically 'operatic' in the old sense - it has passion, the horror of war, political intrigues, gross betrayal and heroic death set in a time of sweeping historical change. He was a man who espoused duty as the highest of values, yet abandoned a faithful wife for Emma Hamilton ; a man who showed sympathy to the wretched, yet orchestrated a terrible political massacre of civilians in Naples ; whose life was devoted to the sea though it often tortured him physically and mentally. And standing upon these stark psychological fissures, we have the man of precarious vanity, charisma, and thirst for personal danger and oblivion.
Duration: 18-140 min.
Performances of this work
24 Oct 05: Exhibitional Hall, Australia House, London, UK. Featuring Trafalgar Ensemble.
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