Philharmonia Orchestra, conducted by George Lloyd
Janice Watson, Thomas Booth, David Wilson-Johnson,
Diana Montague, Michael George, Malcolm Rivers,
London Voices Chorus
In 1949 the Arts Council of Great Britain commissioned three new operas for the Festival of Britain, 1951 - Pilgrim's Progress by Vaughan Williams to be played at Covent Garden; Billy Budd for Sadlers Wells by Benjamin Britten; and John Socman by George Lloyd for the Carl Rosa Opera Company. Lloyd had recently returned from Switzerland where he had been living with his wife's family endeavoring to recover from injuries he had received during World War II. Writing the opera had left him in an exhausted condition; he had been asked to conduct his work but felt he did not have the strength at that time. From then on there were serious production difficulties but in spite of them, the opera toured the country for two years.