Britten Pears Arts is delighted to announce that the 73rd Aldeburgh Festival in 2022 will be extended by a week and will take place from Friday 3 to Sunday 26 June

The 2022 Festival will offer a wide range of events from the familiar to the less familiar, opera, world premieres, artists in residence, leading performers, orchestras and ensembles alongside rising stars, talks, films and more – all taking place at venues across the Suffolk coast with Snape Maltings at the centre.

Aldeburgh Festival is one of the world’s most significant classical events. The festival was founded in 1948 by composer Benjamin Britten, tenor Peter Pears and the librettist/producer Eric Crozier. Set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on the Suffolk coast, Snape Maltings – home to the Aldeburgh Festival – is the realisation of Britten’s vision for a creative campus where musicians of all ages, backgrounds and career stages are given the time, space and support to be trained and to develop new work and ideas in its unique natural landscape.

Britten Pears Young Artist Programme at 50

Britten Pears Arts continues its role in supporting young artists and the 2022 Aldeburgh Festival will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Britten Pears Young Artist Programme. Founded by Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears, the programme provides high level performance training for the world’s best emerging professional musicians. The model has recently shifted from simply offering one-off masterclasses and courses to a bespoke year-round programme of projects and events. In this new model of working, Britten Pears Arts wants to provide the freedom, time and space for artists to explore the big questions about what it means to be a musician: to examine their role, voice and mission in this industry – and how they can shape it, while also laying the foundations for a successful and sustainable career. The latest cohort comprises singers, pianists, chamber ensembles and composers who benefit from a comprehensive and world-class artist development offer from July 2021 for 12 months. Each young artist receives masterclasses, coaching and mentoring from internationally renowned artists, focusing specifically on their repertoire and projects. There will also be performance and/or commissioning opportunities, and industry-relevant offers, either sourced by Britten Pears Arts, or which will emerge as projects evolve during the year. The artists’ time as a Britten Pears Young Artist will culminate in performances at the 2022 Aldeburgh Festival.

Violet by Tom Coult and Alice Birch (world premiere)

Violet was due to be premiered at the cancelled 2020 Aldeburgh Festival and will now finally take place in 2022. Playwright Alice Birch and composer Tom Coult are amongst the most compelling voices in their respective fields and their first opera, developed at Snape Maltings as part of its Jerwood Opera Writing Programme, is an exciting prospect. Violet is set in an isolated community controlled by the regularity of the town clock. Suddenly the clock begins to skip time and an hour is lost – every day. As the hours disappear, long-held hierarchies evaporate and ordered society falls into disarray. While the men in charge lose control, Violet begins to imagine a different future. Trapped and stifled in an unhappy marriage, she senses there’s a new life to be discovered and sets out to find it. Violet is co-commissioned and co-produced by Music Theatre Wales, Britten Pears Arts for the Aldeburgh Festival and Theater Magdeburg.

Roger Wright, Chief Executive, Britten Pears Arts commented, ‘We are delighted to announce the dates for Aldeburgh Festival 2022 and that it will be extended to be a week longer than usual. Britten and Pears’ vision of supporting the best emerging young artists remains central to our mission and part of this longer Festival will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Britten Pears Young Artist Programme. It offers the chance to showcase the wide range of brilliant young artists working with us in our new year-round model. Aldeburgh Festival is renowned for its prolific commissioning of new works – and 2022 will be no exception – including the much-anticipated world premiere of Violet by playwright Alice Birch and composer Tom Coult. We are looking forward to it immensely.’

Full details of the Aldeburgh Festival will be announced in January 2022.