Archive Treasures: Hardy’s Time’s Laughingstocks and Other Verses

Archive Treasures: Hardy’s Time’s Laughingstocks and Other Verses

Monday July 13 2020

Britten owned a large collection of verse anthologies as well as volumes of specific authors in his library. Of these volumes the one with the most interesting provenance may be this first edition of Thomas Hardy’s poems – Time’s Laughingstocks and Other Verses. Two letters from Hardy found in the cover of the volume reveal […]

Archive Treasures: African National Congress

Tuesday July 7 2020

In the archive at the Red House, there is shelf after shelf of Benjamin Britten’s correspondence: its cataloguing was recently completed by a team of volunteers, after which the final total stood at over eleven thousand files. Much of it is professional and there is also personal correspondence such as the intimate, affectionate letters that […]

Archive Treasures: From Dr. Who’s Daleks to Britten’s baleful fisherman

Monday June 8 2020

Wonder what the above could possibly have in common? In three words: David Myerscough-Jones. Discover more about the work this artist did when he envisioned Britten’s Borough and ghosts for television Following studies in his native Lancashire this talented artist embarked on a career in designing for theatre first in Scotland and later in London. In […]

Reynolds Stone, Britten, Pears and their Bookplate

Wednesday May 6 2020

During a time when catching up on reading is a viable option for many of us, find out how Britten and Pears’ unique and beautiful bookplate came to be made. Britten and Pears were incorrigible bibliophiles. Like many booklovers, they were eager to declare ownership of their collection, to have a personalised Ex Libris. And […]

Britten, Pears, Holst and Bach’s St. John Passion

Thursday April 9 2020

Although attending a performance of the Passion isn’t possible this Easter we can be reminded of how important Bach’s music was to Britten, Pears and Imogen Holst, and take a quick look at how their own edition of the St. John Passion evolved. Bach was a staple in the lives of Britten, Pears and Imogen […]

Britten Pears Arts

Wednesday April 1 2020

We are pleased to confirm that on 31 March 2020 the Britten-Pears Foundation and Snape Maltings merged to create a new organisation called Britten Pears Arts. Following the sad decision that the Aldeburgh Festival 2020 had to be cancelled, this felt like a good moment to share some happier news. At this time it is more […]

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 […]

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