Highlights include:

  • Britten Weekend features Allan Clayton and Britten Sinfonia
  • English Touring Opera presents new productions of Rossini’s Cinderella and Monteverdi’s The Coronation of Poppea
  • Christmas at Snape includes Handel’s MessiahThe Snowman and The Unthanks
  • Britten Pears Young Artists Masterclasses on English Song with Gweneth Ann Rand, Julius Drake, Julia Faulkner and Audrey Hyland
  • Family Concerts feature Elena Urioste, Tom Poster and London Rhymes
  • Open Sessions offer a chance to catch a glimpse of musicians working behind the scenes
  • Heritage Open Days, Spooky Sounds, Britten’s 110th birthday and a recital series in the Library at The Red House

This autumn sees Britten Pears Arts present a wide range of activity from the familiar to the less familiar including opera, leading performers, and orchestras and ensembles alongside rising stars, talks and more. 

Britten Weekend: 14 – 15 October

  • Tenor Allan Clayton is one of today’s leading interpreters of Britten’s music. 80 years to the day since the first performance of one of the composer’s most important works, the Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings, Clayton joins horn player Martin Owen and Britten Sinfonia to perform this much-loved work composed during the Second World War. The programme also includes Britten’s Prelude & Fugue for 18 strings, O Waly, Waly and The Sally Gardens, as well as Holst’s St Paul’s Suite, Bridge’s Sir Roger de Coverley and Elgar’s Serenade for Strings (15 October, 4pm, Snape Maltings Concert Hall). 
  • Launching the Weekend will be a study morning on the Serenade for tenor, horn and strings, hosted by Dr Lucy Walker who will be joined by Allan Clayton and other guests (14 October, 10:30am, Peter Pears Recital Room)
  • Pianist Julius Drake will lead the final workshop as part of a week of masterclasses exploring English Song for Britten Pears Young Artists (14 October, 2.30pm, Peter Pears Recital Room), before the End of Course recital presents a programme of English Song (15 October, 11am, Britten Studio).   
  • Visit the Britten Pears Archive at The Red House to gain deeper insights into Britten’s Serenade and other works being performed and celebrated over the Britten Weekend (Archive, 11am – 4pm, The Red House).

English Touring Opera: 26 – 28 October

  • English Touring Opera presents two new productions:
    • Rossini’s Cinderella is helmed by director and movement specialist Jenny Ogilvie and conductor Naomi Woo (26 and 28 October, 7.30pm, Snape Maltings Concert Hall) and Monteverdi’s The Coronation of Poppea.
    • Robin Norton-Hale directs Monteverdi’s The Coronation of Poppea with multi-genre musician and composer Yshani Perinpanayagam as conductor and arranger and a new English translation of the libretto from poet and classicist Helen Eastman (27 October, 7.30pm, Snape Maltings Concert Hall).

Honey & The Bear: 4 November

  • Honey & The Bear perform music from their new album Away Beyond The Fret inspired by Suffolk, family, pioneering women and true heroes.  Expect a melodic feast from heart-wrenching ballads to foot-stomping earworms (4 November, 7.30pm, Britten Studio).

Christmas at Snape Maltings: 16 – 23 December

  • Dominic Ellis-Peckham conducts Handel’s Messiah with soloists drawn from the Britten Pears Young Artist Programme, with the Suffolk Ensemble and resident chamber choir Aldeburgh Voices (21 December, 7.30pm, Snape Maltings Concert Hall).
  • The Unthanks bring their dreamlike winter fantasia to Snape this Christmas. Using the traditional music of the Northeast of England as a starting point, with the influence of Miles Davis, Steve Reich, Sufjan Stevens, Robert Wyatt, Antony & The Johnsons, King Crimson and Tom Waits, The Unthanks have created a unique sound, earning them a Mercury Music Prize nomination and international acclaim (22 December, 7.30pm, Snape Maltings Concert Hall).
  • Snape Maltings continues its tradition of a special screening of Howard Blake’s “The Snowman” with live orchestral music – the perfect way for all the family to celebrate the festive season. Ben Parry conducts the Suffolk Ensemble and a chorus of talented young singers (23 December, 1pm, 2.30pm & 4.30pm, Snape Maltings Concert Hall).

Family Concerts

  • Pianist Tom Poster and violinist Elena Urioste created #UriPosteJukebox during the pandemic and now host a family concert at Snape in partnership with Wigmore Hall. Marvellous Magical Jukebox is presented by Aga Serugo-Lugo and invites children aged 5+ and their families to use their voice, experiment with sound, make up new music and discover what the Jukebox will play next (17 September, 11am & 1.30pm, Britten Studio). Poster and Urioste return later the same day for a late afternoon recital of chamber music including works by Luise Adolpha le Beau, Fritz Kreisler and Strauss (17 September, 5pm, Britten Studio).
  • London Rhymes presents two family concerts: the first aimed at ages 1–3 and the second at ages 4–8. This original, interactive show brings together five musicians – Rosie Adediran (vocals and ukulele), Rosie Bergonzi (percussion), Raph Clarkson (trombone), Rosanna Ter-Berg (flutes) and Ben Trickey (guitar) and is packed with songs and sounds (29 October, 1pm, Britten Studio).
  • Mini Music Makers is a Friday morning session of fun music and play activities for 0-5-year-olds that takes place at The Red House, Aldeburgh. The 90-minute sessions include singing and creative play to encourage social skills, turn-taking, sharing and following instructions (1 September – 8 December, The Red House). 

Open Sessions

  • Baritone Peter Brathwaite’s Rediscovering Black Portraiture project went viral during lockdown. In this Open Session Peter (a former Britten Pears Young Artist) and pianist Allyson Devenish will be spending a BPA residency developing music that complements the visual art (4pm, 20 September, Jerwood Kiln Studio).
  • VOICEBOX is a brand-new initiative offering a bespoke curriculum for advanced singers specialising in contemporary vocal performance. It is delivered over the course of a year, broken into four intensive residency periods that are hosted by partner organisations around the UK, the first of which is hosted by Britten Pears Arts at Snape Maltings as part of the Britten Pears Young Artist Programme. There are six emerging artists participating in this groundbreaking programme – Patricia AuchterlonieHester DartTara Lily KleinOskar McCarthySarah Parkin, and Pascal Zurek – comprising a diverse range of the most exciting contemporary vocalists from across the UK and Europe. VOICEBOX provides a unique space for creative development, risk-taking, community-building and professional networking. For the year together the cohort becomes a community: creating a space for exploring new ways of singing and new ways of thinking about their work. The cohort share some of the work they have been doing at the end of their first week-long course (30 September, 4pm, Britten Studio).

Britten Pears Young Artists

  • A week of engaging public masterclass sessions in which emerging singers and collaborative pianists on the 2023-24 Britten Pears Young Artists Programme explore the world of English song and vocal performance. The masterclasses form part of our week of intensive tuition and mentoring on English Song for Britten Pears Young Artists led by some of the world’s best performers, interpreters, and vocal coaches including Juliet Faulkner (11 October, 2.30pm, Peter Pears Recital Room); Audrey Hyland (12 October, 2.30pm, Peter Pears Recital Room); Gweneth Ann Rand (13 October, 2.30pm, Peter Pears Recital Room) and Julius Drake (14 October, 2.30pm, Peter Pears Recital Room).
  • End of Course Recital: English Song: the culmination of the Britten Pears Young Artists autumn course with performances of English song that they have been working on (15 October, 11am, Britten Studio).

Participatory Events

  • Britten Pears Arts offers the chance to join two Scratch Choir days this autumn, both conducted by Ben Vonberg-Clark: the first explores Three Madrigals by Emma Lou Diemer and Three Shakespeare Songs by Vaughan Willaims, (13 October, 11am, Snape Maltings Concert Hall) & Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols (20 December, 11am, Britten Studio).

The Red House

  • This year’s Heritage Open Days theme is “creativity unwrapped” – perfect for the creative inspiration that surrounded Britten and Pears. The Red House and Archive will host a display about the collaborative efforts of creating an opera, while the House and Gardens will be open for guided tours and exploration of this unique heritage location of international significance (9, 10, 16 & 17 September, 11am – 5pm).
  • Heritage Open Days: Make a Mask – young creatives are invited to make their own opera mask in celebration of Britten’s operas. Suitable for ages 5–11 and their families (9 & 16 September, 11am, 1pm & 3pm).
  • Heritage Open Days: Imogen Holst’s House: a rare chance to visit the Aldeburgh home of composer, conductor and educator Imogen Holst. This quirky one-bed bungalow is a fascinating capsule of mid-century aesthetic, designed and built by HT ‘Jim’ Cadbury-Brown (9 – 17 September, 9 Church Walk, Aldeburgh, free but please book).
  • Workshop and Trail: Spooky Sounds: calling all 5–11-year-olds to come and create their own soundtrack this Halloween and take part in a spooky trail in the garden (25 – 26 October, 11am, 12.30pm, 2pm & 3.30pm, Imogen Holst Room, The Red House).
  • To celebrate Britten’s 110th birthday, The Red House and Archive will be open for a special autumn open day and guided tours. The Archive exhibition will feature pivotal moments in each decade of Britten’s life (22 November, 11am – 4pm, The Red House).

Red House Recitals: Library

  • Rising star mezzo soprano Anna Huntley and pianist Lucy Colquhoun will perform an intimate song recital in the Library at The Red House, celebrating the songs of Britten, Schubert and his influence on the composer and Britten’s contemporaries Rainier and Grenfell (6 October, 6pm, Library, The Red House).
  • Mezzo-soprano Lottie Betts-Dean and accordionist Ryan Corbett, a BBC New Generation Artist, present a programme of music spanning centuries from Monteverdi to Kurt Weill and Purcell to Joni Mitchell (27 October, 6pm, The Library, The Red House).

Full listings online at www.brittenpearsarts.org

Tickets go on general sale on 29 July at 10am.