Director Tony Palmer's filmed record of Benjamin Britten's opera. Adapted from Thomas Mann's novel, the story follows a disillusioned writer spending his last days in a disease-ridden Venice. Palmer had originally been asked to film the opera in Venice with the original cast by Britten's partner, the tenor Peter Pears, in 1976. However, it wasn't until 1980 that the request was finally completed, with the Australian tenor Robert Gard standing in for Pears, who by that time had succumbed to ill health. Steuart Bedford conducts the English Chamber Orchestra.