Suite taken from the ballet Homage to the Queen, Op. 42
Malcolm Arnold’s one act ballet score Homage to the Queen was commissioned in 1953 by the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, to celebrate the coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The ballet was conceived and choreographed by Frederick Ashton, with designs by Oliver Messel, and was danced by the full company of the Sadler’s Wells Ballet, with an illustrious cast that comprised Nadia Nerina as Queen of the Earth, Violetta Elvin as Queen of the Waters, Beryl Grey as Queen of Fire and Margot Fonteyn as Queen of the Air. The conductor of the ROH orchestra was Robert Irving. Homage to the Queen was first performed on the night of the coronation, 2 June 1953.