British Film Institute celebrates Britten's centenary

Charlotte Smith4th Sep 2013
British Film Institute celebrates Britten's centenaryBenjamin Britten on Aldeburgh Beach in 1959 (photo: Hans Wild courtesy of www.britten100.org)

Among a myriad of events celebrating the centenary of Benjamin Britten in 2013 is a season of screenings at London’s BFI Southbank, in association with Britten 100, honouring the composer’s contribution to cinema and television. Included in the series, running from September 8 to October 3, are films featuring Britten’s scores, adapted operas, and documentaries about his life and work.

The season charts Britten’s work for the screen in chronological order and across three main themes – his interest in using television as a means of bringing opera to a wider audience, his belief in peace, and his concern for children and education.

Featured in the series are documentaries for which Britten contributed scores between 1935 and 1938; his opera Owen Wingrave, which was originally composed for BBC television (1971); a performance of Peter Grimes starring Peter Pears filmed for the BBC during 1969; a recently remastered version of The Turn of the Screw filmed in 1959 for ITV, and starring Jennifer Vyvyan and Arda Mandikian; Billy Budd filmed for the BBC in 1966 and starring Peter Pears; Phyllida Lloyd’s film version of her Opera North production of Gloriana starring Josephine Barstow, filmed in 2000; the War Requiem filmed in 1989 by Derek Jarman using the original 1963 recording; and Death in Venice directed by Tony Palmer for the screen after Britten’s death in 1981.

For full details visit BFI Southbank.

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