All tagged Benjamin Britten
Giacamo Puccini’s La boheme is probably the most popular of all operas in the classical repertoire. This 4 act opera had its world premiere in Turin in 1896 and was conducted at that time by Toscanini. 50 years later he conducted a commemorative performance in New York, which was recorded by RCA.
In 1958, Benjamin Britten was asked to write a work for the consecration of the new Coventry Cathedral – the old one had been bombed and destroyed in 1940 and hundreds of people had died. Britten decided that this work would commemorate the dead of both World Wars and his text combines the traditional Latin Mass for the Dead, with fairly dour poems by Wilfred Owen. After its premiere in 1962, Shostakovich regarded Britten’s War Requiem as ‘The greatest work of the 20th century’ and indeed it was universally hailed as a masterpiece.
Paul Bunyan is an American legend – a giant lumberjack with Titanic power and strength. In folklore, he and his blue ox named Babe are said to be responsible for the creation of several American landscapes and natural wonders including the 10,000 lakes of Minnesota, Mount Hood and the Grand Canyon. Today undoubtedly, in Trump’s America, they would regard this as ‘fakelore’!
A Midsummer Night's Dream, the opera composed by Benjamin Britten was set to a libretto, adapted by both the Composer and the Singer, Peter Pears, from the play by William Shakespeare. It was premiered in 1960 at the Aldeburgh Festival.