The Operas of Benjamin Britten

The Operas of Benjamin Britten

Expression and Evasion

Claire Seymour


Boydell Press



This controversial analysis of Britten's operatic works demonstrates how he used music to explore his most private concerns.
Claire Seymour examines ways in which Britten's operas explored and articulated the inherent ambiguity and latent sexuality of music, particularly song, and suggests that they may illustrate his search for a public "voice" which would embody, communicate, and perhaps resolve his private beliefs and anxieties. She demonstrates how the delicate balance between private and public communication, and the tension between art as self-expression and art as moral resolution were key concerns in Britten's music.
Analyses of Britten's operas from Paul Bunyan to Death in Venice, the three Church Parables, and several of the "children's operas" offer evidence that, for Britten, opera was the natural medium through which to explore, express and, paradoxically, repress his private concerns.


May 2007
42 line illustrations
368 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
ISBN: 9781843833147
Format: Paperback
Library eBook
Boydell Press
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A wide variety of ideas within two covers. GRAMOPHONE
Among the more interesting expositions of Britten as man and composer. Recommended. CHOICE
Intelligent and informative on a number of levels...(Seymour) does much to clarify the nature and extent, the range and consistency, of Britten's artistic achievement. BRITISH MUSIC SOCIETY NEWSLETTER
A source of some solid enjoyment. MUSICAL TIMES

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