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"Armada" was written during the Spring and Summer of 1987 in response to a commission from the Plymouth Philharmonic Choir for a work to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the Spanish Armada in 1988. On learning of the intention of the organisers to invite Spanish representatives to the festivities, I decided that a work which presented the viewpoints of both nations with a final reconciliation was the most appropriate way to approach the choice of texts.
Queen Elizabeth I's famous speech to the troops at Tilbury seemed the ideal starting point, and dictated the choice of Mezzo Soprano soloist for the whole work. This speech is set as a dramatic recitative and acts as a Prologue.
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