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Benjamin Britten
Composer

Biography

Edward Benjamin Britten, Baron Britten was an English composer, conductor, and pianist. He was a central figure of 20th-century British music, with a range of works including opera, other vocal music, orchestral and chamber pieces. His best-known works include the opera Peter Grimes (1945), the War Requiem (1962) and the orchestral showpiece The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra (1945).

Born in Lowestoft, Suffolk, the son of a dentist, Britten showed talent from an early age. He studied at the Royal College of Music in London and privately with the composer Frank Bridge. Britten first came to public attention with the a cappella choral work A Boy was Born in 1934. With the premiere of Peter Grimes in 1945, he leapt to international fame. Over the next 28 years, he wrote 14 more operas, establishing himself as one of the leading 20th-century composers in the genre. In addition to large-scale operas for Sadler's Wells and Covent Garden, he wrote chamber operas for small forces, suitable for performance in venues of modest size. Among the best known of these is The Turn of the Screw (1954). Recurring themes in his operas include the struggle of an outsider against a hostile society and the corruption of innocence.

Britten's other works range from orchestral to choral, solo vocal, chamber and instrumental as well as film music. He took a great interest in writing music for children and amateur performers, including the opera Noye's Fludde, a Missa Brevis, and the song collection Friday Afternoons. He often composed with particular performers in mind. His most frequent and important muse was his personal and professional partner, the tenor Peter Pears; others included Kathleen Ferrier, Jennifer Vyvyan, Janet Baker, Dennis Brain, Julian Bream, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Mstislav Rostropovich. Britten was a celebrated pianist and conductor, performing many of his own works in concert and on record. He also performed and recorded works by others, such as Bach's Brandenburg Concertos, Mozart symphonies, and song cycles by Schubert and Schumann.

Together with Pears and the librettist and producer Eric Crozier, Britten founded the annual Aldeburgh Festival in 1948, and he was responsible for the creation of Snape Maltings concert hall in 1967. In his last year, he was the first composer to be given a life peerage.


Productions
Click company name to view productions details.
COMPANYTITLEDATES
Union Avenue OperaThe Turn of the Screw7/7/2023 - 7/15/2023
Pocket OperaAlbert Herring4/23/2023 - 5/7/2023
Vancouver OperaA Midsummer Night's Dream2/11/2023 - 2/19/2023
Chicago Opera TheaterAlbert Herring1/26/2023 - 1/29/2023
Opera BaltimoreThe Turn of the Screw11/18/2022 - 11/20/2022
Metropolitan OperaPeter Grimes10/16/2022 - 11/12/2022
Des Moines Metro OperaA Midsummer Night's Dream7/2/2022 - 7/23/2022
Tacoma OperaThe Prodigal Son2/12/2022 - 2/13/2022
Santa Fe OperaA Midsummer Night's Dream7/31/2021 - 8/25/2021
Nashville OperaThe Turn of the Screw1/24/2020 - 1/26/2020
On Site OperaThe Turn of the Screw10/25/2019 - 10/27/2019
San Francisco OperaBilly Budd9/7/2019 - 9/22/2019
Glimmerglass FestivalNoah's Flood8/2/2019 - 8/9/2019
Central City OperaBilly Budd7/13/2019 - 8/2/2019
Wichita Grand OperaNoye's Fludde5/19/2019 - 5/23/2019
Opera OrlandoNoye's Fludde5/18/2019 - 5/19/2019
the little OPERA theatre of NYOwen Wingrave5/9/2019 - 5/12/2019
New Camerata OperaThe Rape of Lucretia5/2/2019 - 5/5/2019
Manhattan School of MusicAlbert Herring4/12/2019 - 4/12/2019
Boston Lyric OperaThe Rape of Lucretia3/11/2019 - 3/17/2018
Opera PhiladelphiaA Midsummer Night's Dream2/8/2019 - 2/17/2019
Tacoma OperaThe Rape of Lucretia2/1/2019 - 2/10/2019
Seattle OperaThe Turn of the Screw10/13/2018 - 10/27/2018
Virginia OperaA Midsummer Night's Dream2/9/2018 - 2/25/2018
Opera Las VegasNoye's Fludde11/17/2017 - 11/19/2017
Opera MODOThe Turn of the Screw10/26/2017 - 10/29/2017
Opera ColumbusThe Turn of the Screw9/27/2017 - 10/1/2017
Central City OperaThe Burning Fiery Furnace7/26/2017 - 8/2/2017
Des Moines Metro OperaBilly Budd7/1/2017 - 7/14/2017
Wichita Grand OperaNoye's Fludde6/9/2017 - 6/11/2017
Dallas OperaThe Turn of the Screw3/17/2017 - 3/25/2017
Lakes Area Music FestivalA Midsummer Night's Dream8/13/2016 - 8/14/2016
Miami Music FestivalThe Turn of the Screw7/21/2016 - 7/22/2015
Wolf Trap Opera CompanyThe Rape of Lucretia6/10/2016 - 6/10/2016
Opera MODOAlbert Herring5/20/2016 - 5/22/2016
Pacific Opera VictoriaA Midsummer Night's Dream4/14/2016 - 4/24/2016
Yale UniversityA Midsummer Night's Dream2/19/2016 - 2/21/2016
Hawai'i Opera TheatreA Midsummer Night's Dream2/12/2016 - 2/16/2016
Eugene OperaThe Turn of the Screw10/30/2015 - 11/1/2015
Odyssey OperaPhaedra5/30/2015 - 5/30/2015
Green Mountain Opera FestivalThe Rape of Lucretia6/19/2014 - 6/19/2014
Boston Conservatory at BerkleeThe Rape of Lucretia4/4/2014 - 4/6/2014
Los Angeles OperaBilly Budd2/2/2014 - 3/16/2014
Pacific Opera ProjectThe Turn of the Screw1/1/2014 - 1/19/2014
New Orleans Opera AssociationNoye's Fludde11/15/2013 - 11/15/2013
Vancouver OperaAlbert Herring11/11/2013 - 12/12/2013
Sarasota OperaThe Little Sweep11/9/2013 - 11/11/2013
Metropolitan OperaA Midsummer Night's Dream10/10/2013 - 10/18/2013
Canadian Opera CompanyPeter Grimes10/8/2013 - 10/25/2013
West Edge OperaThe Turn of the Screw7/7/2013 - 7/28/2013
Chautauqua OperaPeter Grimes7/6/2013 - 7/6/2013
Green Mountain Opera FestivalAlbert Herring6/20/2013 - 6/20/2013
Des Moines Metro OperaPeter Grimes6/6/2013 - 7/13/2013
Florentine Opera CompanyAlbert Herring3/3/2013 - 3/17/2013
Pacific Opera VictoriaThe Little Sweep3/3/2013 - 3/10/2013
Pacific Opera VictoriaAlbert Herring2/2/2013 - 2/17/2013
Pacific Opera VictoriaNoye's Fludde2/2/2013 - 2/16/2013
New York City OperaThe Turn of the Screw2/2/2013 - 3/3/2013
Central City OperaThe Turn of the Screw7/7/2012 - 8/8/2012
Metropolitan OperaBilly Budd5/5/2012 - 5/12/2012
Houston Grand OperaThe Rape of Lucretia2/11/2012 - 2/11/2012
Los Angeles OperaAlbert Herring2/8/2012 - 2/17/2012
Boston Lyric OperaA Midsummer Night's Dream4/4/2011 - 5/10/2011
Cal PerformancesAlbert Herring3/27/2011 - 3/27/2011
Cal PerformancesThe Rape of Lucretia3/25/2011 - 3/25/2011
Los Angeles OperaThe Turn of the Screw3/3/2011 - 3/30/2011
Lyric Opera of ChicagoA Midsummer Night's Dream11/8/2010 - 11/22/2010
Canadian Opera CompanyDeath in Venice10/10/2010 - 11/11/2010
Houston Grand OperaPeter Grimes10/10/2010 - 11/11/2010
Santa Fe OperaAlbert Herring7/7/2010 - 8/25/2010
Chateauville FoundationThe Turn of the Screw7/7/2010 - 7/11/2010
Boston Lyric OperaThe Turn of the Screw2/2/2010 - 2/6/2010
Duquesne UniversityThe Rape of Lucretia1/1/2010 - 2/7/2010
Pittsburgh OperaThe Rape of Lucretia1/1/2010 - 2/7/2010
Houston Grand OperaThe Turn of the Screw1/1/2010 - 2/13/2010
Madison OperaThe Turn of the Screw1/1/2010 - 1/31/2010
Opera AustraliaPeter Grimes10/10/2009 - 10/29/2009
Opera PhiladelphiaThe Rape of Lucretia6/6/2009 - 6/14/2009
Canadian Opera CompanyA Midsummer Night's Dream5/5/2009 - 5/23/2009
Chicago Opera TheaterOwen Wingrave5/5/2009 - 5/26/2009
San Diego Opera AssociationPeter Grimes4/4/2009 - 4/26/2009
Washington National OperaPeter Grimes3/3/2009 - 4/4/2009
Houston Grand OperaA Midsummer Night's Dream2/2/2009 - 2/6/2009
Portland OperaThe Turn of the Screw2/2/2009 - 2/14/2009
Charlottesville OperaNoye's Fludde10/10/2008 - 10/24/2008
Central City OperaCurlew River8/8/2008 - 8/8/2008
Santa Fe OperaBilly Budd7/7/2008 - 8/21/2008
Houston Grand OperaBilly Budd4/4/2008 - 5/9/2008
Portland OperaAlbert Herring3/3/2008 - 3/30/2008
Sacramento Philharmonic & OperaThe Turn of the Screw2/22/2008 - 2/26/2008
Metropolitan OperaPeter Grimes2/2/2008 - 3/24/2008
The Cleveland OperaThe Turn of the Screw7/7/2007 - 7/22/2007
Des Moines Metro OperaA Midsummer Night's Dream6/6/2007 - 7/14/2007
Pittsburgh OperaBilly Budd5/5/2007 - 5/12/2007
Opera RoanokeNoye's Fludde2/2/2007 - 2/2/2007
Opera MississippiNoye's Fludde10/7/2006 - 10/10/2006
Opera North (U.S.)Albert Herring8/8/2006 - 8/25/2006
Opera North (U.S.)Albert Herring8/8/2006 - 8/25/2006
Curtis Institute of MusicAlbert Herring4/1/2006 - 4/15/2006
University of Colorado BoulderThe Rape of Lucretia4/1/2006 - 4/30/2006
Gotham Chamber OperaAlbert Herring2/2/2006 - 2/18/2006
University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of MusicAlbert Herring2/1/2006 - 2/12/2006
Pacific Opera VictoriaThe Rape of Lucretia2/1/2006 - 2/18/2006
Portland OperaThe Rape of Lucretia12/1/2005 - 12/16/2005
Juilliard SchoolA Midsummer Night's Dream11/1/2005 - 11/19/2005
Lyric Opera of Kansas CityThe Turn of the Screw11/1/2005 - 11/12/2005
Opera OmahaPaul Bunyan10/1/2005 - 10/9/2005
Opera AustraliaDeath in Venice9/1/2005 - 9/23/2005
Opera ViventeThe Turn of the Screw9/1/2005 - 9/30/2005
Glimmerglass FestivalDeath in Venice7/1/2005 - 8/1/2005
Des Moines Metro OperaGloriana: The Private Life of Elizabeth and Essex7/1/2005 - 7/15/2005
Central City OperaPaul Bunyan7/1/2005 - 8/1/2005
Santa Fe OperaPeter Grimes7/1/2005 - 8/1/2005
Opera QueenslandThe Turn of the Screw7/1/2005 - 7/30/2005
Opera Theatre of Saint LouisGloriana: The Private Life of Elizabeth and Essex6/1/2005 - 6/25/2005
Chicago Opera TheaterA Midsummer Night's Dream5/1/2005 - 5/28/2005
Teatro Municipal De SantiagoPeter Grimes5/1/2005 - 5/29/2004
Utah Symphony | Utah OperaA Midsummer Night's Dream3/1/2005 - 3/20/2005
Pittsburgh OperaThe Turn of the Screw2/1/2005 - 3/1/2005
Florida Grand OperaPaul Bunyan1/1/2005 - 1/29/2005
Florida State OperaAlbert Herring11/1/2004 - 11/12/2004
Canadian Opera CompanyAlbert Herring11/1/2004 - 12/1/2004
San Francisco OperaBilly Budd9/1/2004 - 10/1/2004
Opera North (U.S.)A Midsummer Night's Dream8/1/2004 - 8/28/2004
Opera New JerseyAlbert Herring8/1/2004 - 8/21/2004
Chicago Opera TheaterDeath in Venice5/1/2004 - 5/15/2004
University of Colorado BoulderThe Turn of the Screw4/1/2004 - 4/25/2004
Lyric Opera of Kansas CityA Midsummer Night's Dream3/1/2004 - 3/21/2004
California State University NorthridgeAlbert Herring3/1/2004 - 3/28/2004
Manhattan School of MusicA Midsummer Night's Dream12/1/2003 - 12/13/2003
Fort Worth OperaThe Turn of the Screw11/1/2003 - 11/10/2003
Opera AustraliaA Midsummer Night's Dream10/1/2003 - 10/29/2003
Canadian Opera CompanyPeter Grimes9/1/2003 - 10/1/2003
Florida State OperaThe Turn of the Screw6/1/2003 - 6/8/2003
Opera MississippiNoye's Fludde4/4/2003 - 4/5/2003
Opéra de MontréalThe Rape of Lucretia4/4/2003 - 4/17/2003
New York City OperaThe Rape of Lucretia4/4/2003 - 4/26/2003
Chicago Opera TheaterThe Turn of the Screw3/3/2003 - 3/30/2003
Opera OmahaThe Turn of the Screw3/3/2003 - 3/16/2003
Pittsburgh OperaA Midsummer Night's Dream2/2/2003 - 2/9/2003
Canadian Opera CompanyThe Turn of the Screw12/5/2002 - 12/12/2002
Opera AustraliaThe Turn of the Screw9/27/2002 - 10/14/2002
Bay View Music FestivalAlbert Herring8/8/2002 - 8/11/2002
Berkshire Opera CompanyThe Turn of the Screw8/3/2002 - 8/9/2002
Central City OperaA Midsummer Night's Dream7/7/2002 - 8/10/2002
Metropolitan OperaA Midsummer Night's Dream4/4/2002 - 5/10/2002
Opéra de MontréalThe Rape of Lucretia4/4/2002 - 5/2/2002
Toledo OperaThe Turn of the Screw4/4/2002 - 4/14/2002
Chicago Opera TheaterThe Rape of Lucretia3/3/2002 - 3/15/2002
Florentine Opera CompanyA Midsummer Night's Dream2/2/2002 - 2/23/2002
Lyric Opera of ChicagoBilly Budd11/11/2001 - 12/14/2001
Opéra de MontréalPeter Grimes9/9/2001 - 9/29/2001
Central City OperaGloriana: The Private Life of Elizabeth and Essex7/7/2001 - 8/11/2001
Glimmerglass FestivalThe Rape of Lucretia7/7/2001 - 8/25/2001
State Opera of South AustraliaThe Turn of the Screw7/7/2001 - 7/14/2001
Opera AustraliaPeter Grimes6/6/2001 - 7/6/2001
Canadian Opera CompanyBilly Budd4/4/2001 - 4/19/2001
Chicago Opera TheaterNoah's Flood4/4/2001 - 4/29/2001
Manhattan School of MusicThe Rape of Lucretia4/4/2001 - 4/22/2001
New National Theatre, TokyoThe Turn of the Screw4/4/2001 - 4/22/2001
University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of MusicThe Rape of Lucretia2/2/2001 - 2/11/2001
Seattle OperaBilly Budd1/1/2001 - 1/27/2001
Los Angeles OperaPeter Grimes10/10/2000 - 11/11/2000
University of Wisconsin-MadisonThe Rape of Lucretia10/10/2000 - 10/27/2000
New York City OperaThe Turn of the Screw10/7/2000 - 10/17/2000
Opera AustraliaA Midsummer Night's Dream7/7/2000 - 8/12/2000
Los Angeles OperaBilly Budd6/6/2000 - 6/17/2000
Detroit OperaPeter Grimes6/4/2000 - 6/11/2000
Curtis Institute of MusicA Midsummer Night's Dream4/4/2000 - 4/28/2000
San Francisco OperaAlbert Herring4/4/2000 - 4/30/2000
Skylight Music TheatreThe Turn of the Screw3/3/2000 - 4/4/2000
Juilliard SchoolThe Rape of Lucretia2/2/2000 - 2/6/2000
Canadian Opera CompanyThe Rape of Lucretia11/11/1999 - 11/27/1999
Cincinnati OperaThe Turn of the Screw7/7/1999 - 7/10/1999
Encompass New Opera TheatrePhaedre6/4/1999 - 6/13/1999
Encompass New Opera TheatrePhaedra6/2/1999 - 6/13/1999
Minnesota OperaThe Turn of the Screw4/4/1999 - 4/18/1999
Lyric Opera of Kansas CityBilly Budd3/3/1999 - 3/21/1999
Opera AustraliaBilly Budd2/2/1999 - 3/9/1999
Academy of Vocal ArtsAlbert Herring1/1/1999 - 1/23/1999
San Francisco OperaPeter Grimes11/11/1998 - 12/12/1998
Colorado Opera FestivalThe Turn of the Screw6/1/1998 - 6/21/1998
New York City OperaPaul Bunyan4/4/1998 - 4/25/1998
Rice UniversityAlbert Herring3/3/1998 - 3/31/1998
Curtis Institute of MusicThe Rape of Lucretia3/1/1998 - 3/28/1998
University of Michigan | School of Music, Theatre The Turn of the Screw3/1/1998 - 3/29/1998
Manitoba OperaThe Turn of the Screw2/2/1998 - 2/13/1998
Houston Grand OperaBilly Budd1/1/1998 - 2/1/1998
Academy of Vocal ArtsThe Rape of Lucretia1/1/1998 - 2/1/1998
Nashville OperaThe Turn of the Screw1/1/1998 - 2/1/1998
Metropolitan OperaPeter Grimes12/28/1997 - 12/28/1997
Dallas OperaBilly Budd11/11/1997 - 11/28/1997
Lyric Opera of ChicagoPeter Grimes10/6/1997 - 11/11/1997
San Francisco OperaDeath in Venice9/9/1997 - 9/27/1997
Opera SaratogaA Midsummer Night's Dream8/6/1997 - 8/13/1997
Des Moines Metro OperaAlbert Herring6/28/1997 - 7/11/1997
Utah Symphony | Utah OperaThe Turn of the Screw3/3/1997 - 3/16/1997
Metropolitan OperaBilly Budd2/26/1997 - 3/14/1997
Pacific Opera VictoriaThe Turn of the Screw2/1/1997 - 2/22/1997
Metropolitan OperaPeter Grimes1/1/1997 - 1/10/1997
Manhattan School of MusicAlbert Herring12/12/1996 - 12/13/1996
Metropolitan OperaA Midsummer Night's Dream11/11/1996 - 12/20/1996
New York City OperaThe Turn of the Screw10/9/1996 - 10/21/1996
Opera AustraliaAlbert Herring8/1/1996 - 9/1/1996
Opera Theatre of Saint LouisThe Rape of Lucretia6/6/1996 - 6/28/1996
Opéra de MontréalThe Turn of the Screw5/4/1996 - 5/11/1996
Opera AustraliaA Midsummer Night's Dream1/1/1996 - 9/1/1993
Kentucky OperaAlbert Herring1/1/1996 - 1/20/1996
Glimmerglass FestivalPaul Bunyan7/7/1995 - 8/20/1995
Orlando OperaAlbert Herring5/1/1995 - 5/21/1995
Opera AustraliaPeter Grimes5/1/1995 - 7/1/1995
Opera ColoradoAlbert Herring1/1/1995 - 1/28/1995
Calgary Opera AssociationAlbert Herring1/1/1995 - 1/30/1995
Metropolitan OperaPeter Grimes1/1/1995 - 12/30/1994
Vancouver New MusicPeter Grimes1/1/1995 - 2/1/1995
Edmonton OperaThe Rape of Lucretia1/1/1995 - 2/1/1995
Opera MemphisThe Turn of the Screw1/1/1995 - 1/31/1995
Opera North (U.S.)Albert Herring8/1/1994 - 8/26/1994
Berkshire Opera CompanyThe Turn of the Screw8/1/1994 - 8/31/1994
The Cleveland OperaAlbert Herring4/1/1994 - 4/10/1994
Manhattan School of MusicThe Turn of the Screw4/1/1994 - 4/24/1994
Seattle OperaThe Turn of the Screw3/1/1994 - 3/23/1994
Metropolitan OperaDeath in Venice2/1/1994 - 2/26/1994
Opera Theatre of Saint LouisBilly Budd6/1/1993 - 6/20/1993
Wildwood FestivalThe Turn of the Screw6/1/1993 - 6/20/1993
Edmonton OperaNoah's Flood5/1/1993 - 5/26/1993
Utah Symphony | Utah OperaCurlew River4/1/1993 - 4/18/1993
Juilliard SchoolThe Rape of Lucretia3/1/1993 - 3/28/1993
Kentucky OperaThe Turn of the Screw3/1/1993 - 4/1/1993
Edmonton OperaThe Turn of the Screw3/1/1993 - 3/8/1993
Pacific Opera VictoriaA Midsummer Night's Dream2/1/1993 - 2/20/1993
University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of MusicA Midsummer Night's Dream2/1/1993 - 2/14/1993
Houston Grand OperaA Midsummer Night's Dream1/1/1993 - 2/1/1993
San Francisco OperaA Midsummer Night's Dream11/1/1992 - 12/1/1992
Los Angeles OperaA Midsummer Night's Dream9/1/1992 - 10/1/1992
Atlanta OperaAlbert Herring9/1/1992 - 9/6/1992
Berkshire Opera CompanyThe Rape of Lucretia8/1/1992 - 8/19/1992
Glimmerglass FestivalThe Turn of the Screw7/1/1992 - 8/1/1992
Opera Theatre of Saint LouisA Midsummer Night's Dream6/1/1992 - 6/21/1992
Opera AustraliaPeter Grimes6/1/1992 - 6/22/1992
Los Angeles OperaAlbert Herring4/1/1992 - 4/25/1992
Metropolitan OperaBilly Budd4/1/1992 - 4/18/1992
Aurora Opera TheatreThe Prodigal Son3/1/1992 - 3/15/1992
Opera ColoradoCurlew River2/1/1992 - 2/26/1992
Opera ColoradoThe Burning Fiery Furnace2/1/1992 - 2/28/1992
Opera ColoradoThe Prodigal Son2/1/1992 - 2/29/1992
San Diego Opera AssociationThe Rape of Lucretia2/1/1992 - 3/1/1992
Opera AustraliaThe Turn of the Screw11/1/1991 - 11/18/1991
Canadian Opera CompanyAlbert Herring10/1/1991 - 11/1/1991
Des Moines Metro OperaPeter Grimes6/1/1991 - 7/1/1991
Center for Contemporary OperaThe Burning Fiery Furnace6/1/1991 - 6/20/1991
Los Angeles OperaThe Turn of the Screw6/1/1991 - 6/30/1991


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