So far I have had a busy two days here in Suffolk. On Monday I attended the first of the Masterclasses being conducted by Julia Faulkner, John Fisher, and Matthew Rose - with singers and pianists taking part in the summer program at the Britten-Pears school. I will be attending these through the week to Thursday, both the public sessions and some private ones.
On Monday the public got the first taste of the work of John, Julia and Matthew - and indeed it was a revelation for both young singers and pianists to be subjected to such detailed analysis from these three. This will surely be a memorable and possibly career defining experience for many of them.
Yesterday morning I was over in Aldeburgh for a most moving hour and a half with Humphrey Burton, Peter Grimes, Leanard Bernstein and Seiji Osawa. There was a screening of a magnificent documentary produced by Toronto's Rhombus company, A Tale of Tanglewood introduced by Humphrey Burton, a long time friend of Britten and Bernstein and now a long time resident of Aldeburgh, one of the true treasures of this place.
The film covered the first performances of Peter Grimes in the US in 1946, and the 50th anniversary of that historic event back in Tanglewood in 1996. It was a totally absorbing and beautifully made document, and prefaced by the remarkable Humphrey's wise and moving words providing first hand background about all the key players in this story. Whilst of course I was not there in 1946 I did attend one of the 1996 performances in that unique place with a young man called Tony Griffey in the title role - later to become the celebrated Anthony Dean Griffey.......unforgettable, and also for the masterly leadership of Seiji Osawa.
I am here until tomorrow evening - so lots of good stuff to come. I will write about other events tomorrow morning.