From the Podium: Britten/Pears Project

A note from Daniel Canosa, Artistic Director


Benjamin Britten, at the piano, studying a score along side his partner and tenor, Peter Pears.
Benjamin Britten, at the piano, studying a score along side his partner and tenor, Peter Pears.

I want to share with you something very interesting for the orchestra and for me personally during this time of preparations for our upcoming concert on November 20th. Together with Brian Thorsett, our tenor for Benjamin Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings, we have been researching the letters that Britten wrote to many of his friends and family around the time of the composition of this piece.


Of all the correspondence the ones that stand out foremost are the letters between Britten and Peter Pears, who would become his partner. These letters are full of understanding, dedication, forgiveness, care and many of the wonderful loving qualities of their life-long relationship.


Inspired by these letters, we decided to include them in the performance. They will be read in between the sections of the Serenade to illuminate the experience of listening to the songs and to be a little closer to the man who wrote them.


Here is a little tease for you, a fragment of a letter from Pears to Britten:


…You know, I have been thinking an awful lot about you and me. I love you with my whole being, solemnly and seriously. These last times made me realize how serious love is, what a great responsibility and what a sharing of personalities – It’s not just a pleasure and self-indulgence. Our love must be complete and a creation in itself, a gift which we must be fully conscious of and responsible for…

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