It’s 45 years since Britten’s last big work

It’s 45 years since Britten’s last big work


norman lebrecht

June 16, 2021

Britten’s Phaedra was premiered 45 years ago today by Dame Janet Baker at the Aldeburgh Festival.

Keith Warner has just filmed it with the up-and-coming Elizabeth Lynch.

Full release next week. Here’s an exclusive nibble, with more sex than I’d remembered.


  • RW2013 says:

    The late works of BB are in a class of their own.

  • David A. Boxwell says:

    This preview made me laugh at how OTT this rendition is.

  • Anonymous Bosch says:

    A “Foster-Jenkins Trust Film” – are they serious?

  • Gary Freer says:

    Britten loathed over the top performances of his music – in one of his final letters to Pears he praised him in particular for ‘never too much’. Look at the artists he admired and wanted to work with. This piece was written for Janet Baker. She didn’t need to jump on beds or use other such gimmicks to put across Phaedra’s sexual anguish. She was also the right age.

    That said, good luck to Ms Lynch, at least she may bring some new admirers to Britten’s late works.

    • Gervaise says:

      Let’s have a recording or at least a dvd of Christine Rice in the production by Deborah Warner at the ROH.Rice was superb,one critic thought she was even better than Baker