A chance to stay warm and dry at Aldeburgh

A chance to stay warm and dry at Aldeburgh


norman lebrecht

June 08, 2020

In 2013, the June festival staged Peter Grimes on the very Aldeburgh beach where George Crabbe conceived the terrifying poem of an outcast fisherman. I was fortunate in being stricken by flu – remember flu?- so I cancelled at the last moment.

Blankets were provided for those who attended. Some are still trying to get warm.

Instead of a festival this year, Aldeburgh will post on the BBC iPlayer the full video of that frigid opera. You can watch it from your sofa with a cuppa tea and a currant bun.

Also online and on-air:

– Opening Night broadcast of Britten on Camera on BBC Four followed by Struan Leslie’s Illuminations
– a staging including circus performers of Britten’s Les Illuminations – seen for the first time on Britten
Pears Arts’ YouTube Channel
• Peter Grimes on Aldeburgh Beach will be available on BBC iPlayer later this month
• Create your own Aldeburgh Musicircus experience online
• BBC Radio 3 to broadcast six archive performances from Aldeburgh Festival between 19 – 26 June


  • Jan Kaznowski says:

    Brilliant. They should dig out any Rostropovich and Richter tapes they have from the early days

  • Sean says:

    It is the MOST remarkable work, deeply moving and hugely communicative! Not frigid Norman, surely, and I would have been delighted to have had the opportunity to see such a staging, wondrous strange! I don’t like its central character, but the humanity is extraordinary in the midst of such grim reality. To each his own however.

  • V.Lind says:

    Wish I could see it, but iPlayer is not available abroad. Hope they loosen the strings at some point.

  • Eduardo Benarroch says:

    Please also include some of Heather Harper’s many performances with Britten.

  • Bostin'Symph says:

    Hurrah for the BBC! I’m quick to knock ’em, but they can come up trump’s (the good kind) when they want to! (Hurrah for Aldeburgh too!)

  • Whimbrel says:

    I was there, sitting in the audience on the shingle beach for the first performance of this truly remarkable production. I was perfectly warm and dry and saw no one being offered blankets. The wind blew, a Spitfire flew overhead, the evening light faded, the sea darkened and the tragedy unfolded. An unforgettable production of a deeply emotional opera.