We’re now in full flow at Aldeburgh Music for this year’s Aldeburgh Festival, with 8 concerts featuring all manner of genres, from chamber music to electronics.
Opera is at its best when it is intimate. That is not surprising, given that the earliest operas were written to be performed in a small room. They were quintessentially chamber operas – the journey towards grandiosity only arising from the competitive spirit of the promoters. So when Britten was commissioned to write an opera for television in 1969, what seemed a modern concept at the time was in some [read more…]
It’s theatre time! After four weeks of rehearsing in the Britten Studio, the cast and crew are moving into the beautifully restored Snape Maltings Concert Hall for the final steps of preparation. Last week we worked through the opera with the addition of the male acting chorus, whose haunting presence bring an added dimension to Owen’s turmoil and all that unfolds during the opera. They have been rehearsing under the [read more…]
Faint sounds of the piano waft across the boating lake from the restaurant, intermingled with families enjoying picnics, swans gliding through the water, and birdsong. So much varied, delightful, calming birdsong. In case you haven’t guessed I am relaxing during my day off, having taken the walk along the coast to the neighbouring village of Thorpeness. Upon my return to Aldeburgh I was surprised to find myself in the centre [read more…]
It’s nearly always a positive sign when time has rushed by, and hard to believe we are close to the end of the second week. We have already worked through most of the opera. After our director, Neil, revealed his spine-chilling rendition of events for Owen Wingrave on the first day of rehearsals, the cast and production team understand the collaborative vision we are heading towards for the opera. The [read more…]
Three years after Jonathan Reekie picked up the phone to director Neil Bartlett to say he’d had an idea, the cast and creative team of Britten’s Owen Wingrave have assembled here at Snape to create a new production for the same space in which the piece was originally brought to life 44 years ago.
The Wingrave cast brings together singers like Susan Bullock and Jonathan Summers who have been appearing at [read more…]
Welcome! It’s only a few days until the whole cast gather in Aldeburgh ready to bring this year’s new production of Owen Wingrave to the stage. I can think of no better place than Benjamin Britten’s own hometown to study, sing and perform his opera. As a Britten-Pears Young Artist I am thrilled to be playing the role of Mrs. Coyle (and was fortunate to perform it as part of [read more…]
Tenor Nigel Douglas played the role of Lechmere in the premiere production of Owen Wingrave, filmed at Snape Maltings Concert Hall in 1970 and shown on BBC2 in 1971.
Nigel will be taking part in our Owen Wingrave Study Day on Tuesday 17 June, which will include contributions from cast and creative team members from both 1971 and 2014 productions and will feature discussion, archive footage and live musical illustrations.
Director Neil Bartlett talks about staging Britten’s late pacifist opera Owen Wingrave at the 2014 Aldeburgh Festival:
National treasure and everyone’s favourite nature film maker talks about the newly formed BBC2’s pledge to cover contemporary music and how he met Benjamin Britten to discuss the details of the Owen Wingrave commission.