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 […]

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 […]

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Box of Delights: September 2019

Monday September 30 2019

This month’s Box of Delights is themed around Britten and Pears’ school days given September marks the return of students heading back to school. School Photographs Our first items in the Box of Delights are Britten’s and Pears’ school photographs. The first image is of Britten at South Lodge School, in Lowestoft in 1924. Our […]

Photograph of Gladys Parr, 1920s-1930s. Photographer unknown.

The Papers of Gladys Parr

Wednesday September 11 2019

The papers of Gladys Parr (1892-1988) have recently been catalogued and added to the online Integrated Catalogue. This adds another catalogued collection to those already held of significant female singers who worked with Britten and Pears. Parr’s collection of papers is small, but the material covers the entirety of her successful singing career through the […]

Sharing Suffolk Stories

Monday September 2 2019

Sharing Suffolk Stories is an initiative developed by the Suffolk Archives, the county’s archive which maintains a historical record of Suffolk and its people. It is the perfect opportunity to uncover the hidden stories of people and places dating from the middle ages up to the present day. Britten’s High Street: The history of shopping […]

Acquisition of the Month: July 2019

Tuesday July 30 2019

This month’s featured acquisition is a silk scarf designed by John Piper showing an image of Snape Maltings Concert Hall. The scarf was produced in several different colours and most probably sold in aid of the Snape Maltings Rebuilding Fund. The Snape Maltings Concert Hall was opened by the Queen on 2 June 1967 but […]

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Box of Delights: July 2019

Monday July 29 2019

July’s Box of Delights is themed around the summer holidays! In the archive, we have letters and postcards from Britten and Pears’ travels. In this month’s Box of Delights, we have included some of our favourite holiday-inspired material. First edition of Holiday Diary (1935) Originally titled Holiday Tales when published by Boosey and Hawkes in […]

New Collection: Norma Procter (1928-2017)

Wednesday July 24 2019

In June the Archive was delighted to receive the papers of contralto Norma Procter (1928-2017). This adds yet another collection to those already held of singers, librettists and producers who worked with Britten and Pears; illustrating that our archive is not just about Britten and Pears but about a network of collaborating creators and performers. […]

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