New Collection: Rita Thomson’s Letters

New Collection: Rita Thomson’s Letters

Wednesday December 11 2019

Last week we were delighted to receive for addition to our archive collections letters sent to Rita Thomson from many friends including Britten and Pears. Rita met Britten in 1973 when he had an operation at London’s National Heart Hospital where she worked as a senior ward sister. Amongst the letters deposited with us are […]

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Box of Delights: October 2019

Wednesday October 23 2019

For the last Box of Delights of 2019, and to contrast with the political turmoil around the world, we have selected items that highlight Britten’s interesting connections with the world of politics. Programme for the 8 December 1949 Britten and Pears were lifelong pacifists. At the outbreak of the Second World War, Britten and Pears […]

Rita Thomson, Nurse and Friend of Britten and Pears (1934-2019)

Friday October 18 2019

Britten’s 1975 song cycle for tenor and harp is titled A Birthday Hansel. A setting of poems by Robert Burns, it was written to mark the Queen Mother’s 75th birthday. The word ‘Hansel’ is a Scots phrase for ‘gift’, an appropriate association with the person who helped Britten understand the poems’ dialect by reading them aloud […]

The Oriana, Salmon postcard series, early 1960s

Acquisition of the Month: September 2019

Wednesday October 16 2019

In spring 1960 Britten’s friend and chairman of the Orient Line, Sir Colin Anderson, asked the composer to write a ‘theme tune’ for his new passenger liner Oriana which had been built to serve the UK to Australia route. He intended the tune to be recorded and played when she left port or tied up […]

Mary Potter, Portrait of Gillian Collymore, 1958.

Gillian Collymore donates Mary Potter painting to the Britten–Pears Foundation

Tuesday October 8 2019

The Foundation received an extraordinary gift in early September. Gillian Collymore donated a portrait by the artist Mary Potter to the collection which has been in her possession for several decades. The half-length portrait dates from 1958, a period at which Gill was a relatively frequent visitor to Aldeburgh, and captures her in a pensive […]

Britten, Evans, Crozier and Pears outside Crag House in Crabbe Street, Aldeburgh, late 1947

Acquisition of the Month: August 2019

Tuesday September 17 2019

In August the Archive was delighted to receive an addition to its collections 180 letters sent from producer and librettist Eric Crozier to his wife, mezzo-soprano Nancy Evans. From the early 1940s until the early 1950s, Crozier and Evans were central and influential figures in Britten and Pears’ lives. Crozier produced the first productions of […]

Britten, Song, Sea & Nature

Monday June 17 2019

Every month we highlight the gems from Britten and Pears’ book collection in their Library. Britten-Pears Foundation Librarian Nicholas Clark talks about the latest display for June. Below the thunders of the upper deep; Far, far beneath in the abysmal sea, His ancient, dreamless, uninvaded sleep The Kraken sleepeth… Alfred Tennyson, The Kraken Tennyson’s brooding […]

Acquisition of the month: April 2019

Friday May 31 2019

Visitors to the Britten-Pears Foundation Archive can view, in the foyer display case, an acquisition selected from those received during April. The display centres around the first performances of Britten’s Noye’s Fludde during the 1958 Aldeburgh Festival. In April the Archive was pleased to receive for its collections a copy of the 1958 Festival programme […]

Acquisitions to The Red House collections in 2018

Thursday April 25 2019

Visitors to the Archive building will find a new display case in the foyer where they can view recent acquisitions to The Red House collections. Currently displayed are a selection of items we were delighted to receive in 2018. A number of our 2018 acquisitions have already proved useful to researchers in the reading room […]

Foundation acquire Britten manuscript

Thursday April 11 2019

Dr Christopher Hilton, Head of Archive and Library, writes about a recent acquisition for the Britten-Pears Foundation Collection. Last June, the Britten-Pears Foundation was alerted to an original Britten score due to be auctioned in Paris. It formed part of a huge sale of music-related manuscripts spanning the period from the seventeenth century to the […]

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