Film: Benjamin Britten and his Festival
Tony Palmer’s 1967 BBC film astutely captures the build-up to Festival as well as the excitement surrounding its new venue.
Monday 19 June - Thursday 22 JuneTickets £8.00
Part of the Aldeburgh Festival season
Presented by director Tony Palmer and producer Humphrey Burton
Filmed the year the Concert Hall opened, Tony Palmer’s first major BBC film astutely captures the build-up to the Festival as well as exciting possibilities for the new opera house. Palmer’s assured directing and editing are remarkably contemporary, deftly steered by his producer.
This welcome re-mastering is a reminder of Britten’s growing international reputation as a composer, intercut with pithy comments from local residents. Among fascinating shots of town life and the Queen’s opening ceremony, Britten’s quiet charisma stands out; his precision and politeness in rehearsals, the careful clipped vowels. He says touchingly that the Festival ‘is more and more the centre of my artistic life and personal life too’.