The Operas of Benjamin Britten: Expression and Evasion
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. Seymour examines ways in which Britten's operas explored and articulated the inherent ambiguity and latent sexuality of music, particularly song, and suggests that Britten's operas may illustrate his search for a public "voice" which would embody, communicate, and perhaps resolve his private beliefs and anxieties. 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. CLAIRE SEYMOUR is an Opera Studies Tutor at Rose Bruford College, Kent.
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