Benjamin Britten in Russia: Education Programme

From September through December, the British Council will hold an educational programme, consisting of the following events:

5 October, 17:00

Lecture hall of the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts

Paul Kildea, “Britten and Auden – Pioneers of Art: Film, Poetry and Music”

In the first lecture Paul Kildea, author of the book “Benjamin Britten: A Life in the Twentieth Century”, will focus on the composer’s early career and the influence of cinema on the development of the aesthetics of Britten’s opera. As part of the lecture unique archive films made by the GPO Film Unit in the 1930s will be shown.

19 October, 14:00

Documentary Film Center (Moscow, Zubovsky Boulevard, 2)

Screening of the opera “Peter Grimes” in Aldeburgh

Russian Premiere

Audiences will be treated to the film version of one of the most famous and successful productions of the opera, “Peter Grimes.” Directed by Tim Albery with Alan Oke in the role of Peter Grimes, the opera takes place in the open air on the North Sea beach. This production was premiered in June 2013 as part of the 66th Aldeburgh Festival and this is the first time that the film version will be shown in Russia.

26 October, 14:00

Documentary Film Center (Moscow, Zubovsky Boulevard, 2)

“War Requiem”, director Derek Jarman (88 min, UK, 1989)

This film by the British avant-garde film director with Tilda Swinton in the title role provides footage for the Benjamin Britten oratorio in honour of the poet and soldier Wilfred Owen, who died a week before the end of the First World War. Opus 66 by Benjamin Britten is conducted by the composer with vocal soloists: Galina Vishnevskaya, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Peter Pears.

Prior to the screening there will be an introductory lecture by the film critic, Michael Rathaus.

2 November, 14:00

Documentary Film Center (Moscow, Zubovsky Boulevard, 2)

“A Time There Was”, director Tony Palmer (103 min, UK, 1979)

A documentary about the life and work of Benjamin Britten with the participation of a number of the composer’s friends and colleagues. Prior to the screening there will be a lecture by Elizabeth Wilson, close friend of Britten and Pears, student of Rostropovich and the author of several books about Shostakovich and Rostropovich.

28 November, 14:00

Documentary Film Center (Moscow, Zubovsky Boulevard, 2)

The Russian premiere of “Britten’s Endgame”

British documentary filmmaker John Bridcut, author of one of the most famous documentaries about Benjamin Britten, “Britten’s Children”, arrives in Moscow to present his new film about the British composer’s works. The audience is invited to participate in a live discussion with the director.

Starting 22 November, 19:30

“Formula Kino Horizon” Cinema (Moscow, Komsomolsky prospect, 21/10)

The Royal National Theatre’s performance of “The Habit of Art”

2013-14 Theatre Seasons at this Cinema will feature screenings of “The Habit of Art” by English playwright Alan Bennett. The play’s central characters, Benjamin Britten and his longtime friend, the poet Wystan Hugh Auden, meet to discuss the opera “Death in Venice”. The main roles in the play will be performed by Alex Jennings and Richard Griffiths.


All events within Seasons of Benjamin Britten in Russia are organized and held with support of the British Council – an official partner of the Britten-Pears Foundation.

Find out more at British Council website.

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