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Britten and Pears' The Red House, in Aldeburgh, to reopen

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A home shared by a famous English composer, conductor and pianist and his professional partner is to reopen after being renovated.

The Red House, in Aldeburgh, was home to Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears and closed over the winter to have works done.

But the Grade II 17th-century farmhouse, nestled in a five-acre garden and home to their collections and archive, as well as gallery space, museum shop and outdoor café, will reopen to visitors on March 24.

The Red House is reopening on March 24 after having renovation work done. Pictures: Philip Vile.
The Red House is reopening on March 24 after having renovation work done. Pictures: Philip Vile.

This year's exhibition, Britten and Women, celebrates the powerful role of women in Britten’s life – and how they navigated their careers in a man’s world.

Benjamin Britten is known for his decades-long relationship with tenor Peter Pears, and for creating powerful roles for male characters in his operas.

Yet the significant relationships with women throughout his life have been relatively unexplored.

A view of The Red House from outside.
A view of The Red House from outside.

Britten and Pears entertained guests, cultivated vegetables, and even played croquet and tennis in their gardens.

Today, the garden is a wildlife-friendly environment that retains some of the original planting.

Visitors can explore the kitchen garden, see what plants are in season and follow the Garden Trail to discover sculptures from the art collection.

The interior provides an accurate picture of their life together - telling not only their story but also that of the family, friends and famous guests who stayed or visited there.

Inside The Red House.
Inside The Red House.

The eclectic mix of art, artefacts, furniture, and furnishings give a rare and personal glimpse into the domestic lives and tastes of Britten and Pears, rooted in pre- and post-war Britain.

Its presentation is based on documentary and photographic evidence, as well as the memories of Britten and Pears’ family, friends, colleagues, and employees.

For more information on the exhibition, go to: https://brittenpearsarts.org/visit-us/the-red-house/red-house-exhibition-britten-women