'Albert Herring' is a chamber opera in three acts by Benjamin Britten, his Op. 39.
This comic opera was a successor to his serious opera The Rape of Lucretia. The libretto, by Eric Crozier, was based on Guy de Maupassant's story Le Rosier de Madame Husson, but it was transposed entirely to an English setting.
Albert Herring is a musically complex work, in some ways reminiscent of the works of Richard Strauss. The text itself is genuinely funny, and there are myriad musical quotations within the score, as well as some complex forms within, despite the light subject matter. Like Peter Grimes and other works by Britten, this opera explores society's reaction to an odd individual, although, in this case at least, it is from a generally humorous and lighthearted perspective. Some of Britten's contemporaries saw in the title character a satirical self-portrait of the composer.
The opera was premiered on 20 June 1947 at Glyndebourne, conducted by the composer. According to one writer, John Christie, the owner and founder of Glyndebourne "disliked it intensely and is said to have greeted members of the first night audience with the words: 'This isn't our kind of thing, you know'.