English composer. He idolized Wagner, and determined to found an English centre of opera on the same lines as Bayreuth. He began in a very modest way at Glastonbury with a series of music dramas on the Arthurian legends, producing The Immortal Hour in 1914. A special theatre was to be built in Glastonbury, but the project had to be abandoned.
Boughton was born in Aylesbury, England. He studied at the Royal College of Music in London under Charles Villiers Stanford and Walford Davies, but left after a short time and produced some early orchestral works, conducting for a time at the Haymarket Theatre, London. In 1914, in collaboration with Reginald Buckley, he founded the Glastonbury Festival School of Music Drama, where The Immortal Hour was produced; the festival was revived after World War I. In 1922 The Immortal Hour had a long run in London, and Alkestis was produced there by the British National Opera Company in 1924. From 1926 Boughton was an active member of the Communist Party.
WorksMusic dramaThe Birth of Arthur (1908–09), Bethlehem (1913), The Immortal Hour (1914), The Round Table (1916), Alkestis (1922), The Queen of Cornwall (1924), The Lily Maid (1934); dramatic scene Agincourt from Shakespeare's Henry V.
BalletChoral Dances, Snow White, The Moon Maiden.
Chorus and orchestral works for chorus and orchestra The Skeleton in Armour (Longfellow), The Invincible Armada (Schiller), Midnight (E Carpenter), Song of Liberty; unaccompanied choral music.
Chamber two string quartets.