A very wicked village: Britten’s Albert Herring

“Scorn the sweetmeats of temptation!”, warns Lady Billows, as the village of Loxford gathers to crown its May King – a King, because so many village maidens have failed to resist those sinful sweetmeats that a Queen simply cannot be crowned this year. But Albert Herring, who lives with his mother, works in her shop…

Britten’s blank postcard from Belsen: The Rape of Lucretia

At the close of the Second World War, Britten visited Bergen-Belsen while on tour in Germany with Yehudi Menuhin, giving concerts for concentration camp survivors. Britten was so shocked by what he saw at Belsen that, both immediately and for many years afterwards, he would not speak of it. But, on his return home, he…