Music documentarian Tony Palmer takes a somewhat fictional approach in his biopic about British composer Henry Purcell. Since precious little is known about Purcell's existence in 17th-century England, Palmer frames the narrative with a story about a 1960s performing troupe that is researching a play about the composer's life.
Tony Palmer directs this prize-winning film about the great English composer Henry Purcell. Very little is known about his life, but the script written by Charles Wood and the late John Osborne solves this problem by launching a group of actors in the 1960s on a voyage of discovery into the 1660s & late-17th century England, the extraordinary period in which Purcell lived. But it is Purcell's music which is the driving force of the drama, with a stunning soundtrack conducted by John Eliot Gardiner.