Peter Brathwaite, Nicky Spence, & Fleur Barron Among Stars Featured in Britten Pears Arts Fall 2022 Lineup

By Chris Ruel

Britten Pears Arts has announced its Autumn 2022 season that includes “The Blue Woman,” a new opera by Laura Bowler and Laura Lomas, a new production of “The Rape of Lucretia,” and Britten song cycles performed by opera stars.

Here’s the lineup.

Composer Laura Bowler and librettist Laura Lomas’ new opera, “The Blue Woman,” explores the aftermath of sexual violence, examining the interior life of a woman who has experienced a post-traumatic shattering of self after being raped. The presentation is a co-production with the Royal Opera House.

Performance Date: Sept. 8-9, 2022

Award-winning mezzo-soprano Lotte Betts-Dean, together with the Marsyas Trio, explores trailblazing women composers during Britten’s lifetime. The program includes Thea Musgrave, Lili Boulanger, and Jewish-Dutch composer Rosy Wertheim.

Performance Date: Sept. 23, 2022

From choreographer Shobana Jeyasingh Dance comes a new work: “Clorinda Agonistes – Clorinda the Warrior.” In the opera’s first half, Clorinda battles the Crusader Tancredi in Jerusalem. During the second half, the audience is transported to the 21st century, where Clorinda is determined to tell her story her way. The show is a hybrid of opera, dance, and video projections. Inspired by Monteverdi’s 1624 operatic cantata, “Il Combattimento di Clorinda e Tancredi,” Monteverdi’s score is paired with a new commission from celebrated Syrian-American composer Kareem Roustom, both performed live and featuring tenor Ed Lyon, and conductor Robert Hollingworth.

Performance Date: Oct. 8, 2022

Early Music Day features “Making baroque music come alive,” a lecture by performer and teacher Francesca Clements. A concert by Aldeburgh Voices and Ensemble Hesperi celebrating the 350th anniversary of the birth of the Baroque master Heinrich Schütz follows the lecture.

Performance Date: Oct. 15, 2022

Britten’s chamber opera, “The Rape of Lucretia,” reveals the darker elements in the human psyche and shows what happens when war and power set them loose. This new production, directed by Oliver Mears, features the Aurora Orchestra conducted by Corinna Niemeyer. The is cast drawn from the Britten Pears Young Artist Programme and the Royal Opera House’s Jette Parker Artists Programme.

Performance Dates: Oct. 29-30, 2022

Sopranos Anna Dennis and Sian Dicker; mezzo-soprano Fleur Barron; tenors Benjamin Hulett, Nicky Spence, and Robin Tritschler, along with baritones Peter Brathwaite and Marcus Farnsworth, present three special performances exploring all the Britten song cycles for solo voice written during his lifetime—nearly 50 years of his musical output. The concerts are part of the 50th anniversary of the Britten Pears Young Artist Programme. Pianist Malcolm Martineau accompanies,

Performance Dates: Oct. 29-Oct 30, 2022

Singers from the BPYAP will join collaborative pianist Elli Welsh to present a recital program featuring female composers.

Performance Date: Nov. 4, 2022

A South London bus is hijacked by supporters of an Alt-Right personality after unknown assailants attacked him in “Link In My Bio.” This choose-your-own-adventure opera features experiments with the musical genres of grime, and drill and drum ‘n’ bass. The opera was selected for enoa’s inaugural Opera Creation Journey, supported by Britten Pears Arts and Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg.

Performance Date: Nov. 12, 2022

Singers and Pianists from the BPYAP’s Composition and Performance course present an evening of 21st century and contemporary song, which they curated with their tutor, soprano Claire Booth.

Performance Date: Nov. 25, 2002

Suffolk Ensemble Strings and bass Matthew Rose will join Britten Pears Arts’ resident non-professional chamber choir, Aldeburgh Voices. The concert includes readings, audience carols, and seasonal music from John Rutter, Rebecca McGlade, Cecilia McDowall, Eric Whitacre, Kerry Andrew, and Eriks Essenvalds, plus Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on Christmas Carols. Dominic Ellis-Peckham will conduct the program.

Performance Date: Dec. 16, 2022

Cara Dillon and her band will present an exploration of wintry songs and festive carols.

Performance Date: Dec. 17, 2022

A special screening of Howard Blake’s “The Snowman” features live orchestral music performed by the Suffolk Ensemble, with singing by the children of Group A and Jubilee Opera Chorus.

Performance Date: Dec. 18, 2022