A Celebration of one of Suffolk’s Most Famous Festivals Opens Tonight

With the 2020 Aldeburgh Festival cancelled because of the pandemic, the team at Snape Maltings have put together a clever collection of virtual performances celebrating seventy two years of the Aldeburgh Festival.

The Celebrations of Aldeburgh Festivals ‘opens’ tonight at 7pm on BBC Four when the corporation will air the facinating documentary Benjamin Britten on Camera. The documentary explores the relationship that developed between composer Benjamin Britten and the BBC as they worked together to broadcast modern classical music to a wider audience.

Folowing the programme on BBC Four you can switch to the Britten Pears Arts YouTube channel to view the film premier of ‘Les Illuminations’. This is a recording of the opening performance of Aldeburgh Festival 2016 which was then a new work directed by Struan Leslie and performed by soprano Sarah Tynan, Aurora Orchestra, and an ensemble of international circus artists.

Aldeburgh always goes where other festivals fear to tread. For the opening night of this year’s festival, they took a familiar masterpiece by the festival’s founding father, Benjamin Britten, and made it seem rich and strange.

Ivan Hewett, The Telegraph on ‘Les Illuminations’

A celebration of Aldeburgh Festivals runs from 12 June until the 28 June 2020 offering of remarkable events from recent years to watch, listen to and explore online, as well as insights and projects delving much further back into the history of this unique festival.

As part of the Celebration of Aldeburgh Festivals, the orgaisers are aiming to build a memory store covering each year of the 72 year of the Aldeburgh Festival. They have started building a timeline of memories and would love you to contribute. To send them your memories visit the Snape Maltings website.

There is also the Aldeburgh Musicircus experience online where you can mix your own version of the myriad sounds of the 2014 event which the town of Aldeburgh will never forget. You can decide to make the CBSO just a bit louder so you can hear them above the bagpipers, and can you make out what that soprano is singing from the roof? It’s all wonderfully joyful and a reminder of the genius of John Cage, whose concept inspired this remarkable event.

For more information about A Celebration of Aldeburgh Festivals visit https://snapemaltings.co.uk/season/aldeburgh-festival