Benjamin Britten archive opens at The Red House, Aldeburgh

Composer documents on display in the grounds of Britten’s home

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The ArchiveA new archive has been opened in the grounds of The Red House in Aldeburgh, the home which composer Benjamin Britten shared with tenor Peter Pears from 1957 until 1976.

The Britten–Pears Archive, which was officially opened by Dame Janet Baker on 14 June, displays original manuscripts, diaries, letters and photographs, as well as a recreation of the composing studio where Britten wrote his War Requiem and the opera A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Britten at workA new exhibition of Britten’s life accompanies the documents on display, with resources from the Britten-Pears Foundation.

Director of the Britten-Pears Foundation, Richard Jarman, said: ‘What we have at The Red House is exceptional – a rich and illuminating collection held in the very place where Britten lived and composed, with all its extraordinary spirit of place. It is destined to be a site of pilgrimage for music lovers all over the world.’

The site was built with funding from the Britten-Pears Foundation and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Emily Clark

Photos: Philip Vile and Kurt Hutton