The Red House, Aldeburgh

The Red House, Aldeburgh
Guided tours icon Visual disability facilities icon

Here, off leafy and secluded Golf Lane, in the Suffolk seaside town of Aldeburgh, composer Benjamin Britten and his partner, the singer Peter Pears, lived and worked. Today The Red House is the home of the Britten—Pears Foundation, which invites you to come and discover Britten's music in the place where much of it was written.

The Studio where Britten composed is open to visitors throughout the year. So too are: the Gallery, featuring an engaging exhibition for all ages; the historic Library where Britten and Pears rehearsed; and the Gardens.

The House itself is open during the summer months and the newest addition to the site - our award-winning Archive - is open by appointment to anyone wanting to research the uniquely comprehensive collections here at The Red House.

Venue Type:

Historic house or home, Museum, Gallery, Garden, parklands or rural site

See also

Opening hours

High Season (March-October): Tuesday-Saturday 1-5pm
With access to The Red House, Exhibition, Studio, Library, Garden
During the the high season we recommend you park in town and take our free minibus shuttle (see website for details).

Low Season (January-March, November-December): Tuesday-Friday 1-4pm
With access to the Exhibition, Studio, Library, Garden

Visiting hours are extended during the Aldeburgh Festival every June. Go to our website for more information.

For information on how to make a research visit to our reading room, please see the related record on the Britten–Pears Archive.

Admission charges

Site admission: £5 (valid for one year)
Under 16s: free
Guided house tours at 2pm: £2.50 (in addition to site entry)

Getting there

From the A12, take the A1094 to Aldeburgh. At the roundabout past the supermarket, take the first exit: the B1122 Leiston Road. Golf Lane is the second turning on the left, directly after the 40mph speed limit ends. Users of satnav and online mapping systems beware: you may be misdirected into Linden Close, from where there is no access to our site.

Additional info

Tea, coffee and cold drinks are available, along with a selection of books, CDs and DVDs. All areas of the site are wheelchair-accessible except for Britten's studio and the first floor of the house (a virtual tour of these rooms is available at reception).

Collection details

Architecture, Music, Personalities

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
Late Britten

Late Britten

  • 24 March — 9 December 2016 *on now

Marking 40 years since Britten’s death we examine his late music and the influences that helped him to create some of the most surprisingly vibrant music of his career. Features include a vivid photo wall spanning the composer’s entire life; rare archival material; interviews with those who knew and worked with Britten during the 1970s; and a uniquely immersive encounter with one of his most appealing, yet profoundly poignant late works.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Included in site admission of £5 (valid for one year)
Under 16s free

Website

http://www.brittenpears.org/

From the Archive

From the Archive

  • 21 — 22 October 2016

Come and view items from the Archive relating to some of the works performed with the Richard Alston Dance Company during this October’s Britten Weekend at Snape Maltings. Explore the background and history of 'Phaedra', 'Lachrymae', the 'Sechs Hölderlin-Fragmente', and learn more about Britten’s fascination with the music of Henry Purcell.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Included in site entry (£5)

Website

http://www.brittenpears.org/visit-the-red-house/whats-on/event/E3590

Basil Coleman Exhibition

Basil Coleman: a Man of the Stage

  • 22 — 25 November 2016

Basil Coleman produced the first performances of Billy Budd, Gloriana and The Turn of the Screw. To mark his centenary some key items from Coleman’s collection will be on display, telling us about his background and important friendship with Britten.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Included in admission charge (£5)

Website

http://www.brittenpears.org/visit-the-red-house/whats-on/event/E3588

Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
Summer Picnics

Summer Picnics

  • 22 July — 31 August 2016 *on now

The gardens will be open for visitors to picnic during the summer holidays. A family trail and outdoor games will be available, so all you need to bring is food and a blanket. Report to Reception for a map and family trail.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Tickets: free

Please note that opening hours are from Tuesday - Saturday from 1-5pm. Unfortunately it won't be possible to picnic on Sundays and Mondays.

Website

http://www.brittenpears.org/news/summer-picnics

Art Tours

Art Tours

  • 26 August 2016 2-2:45pm
  • 2 September 2016 2-2:45pm
  • 9 September 2016 2-2:45pm
  • 16 September 2016 2-2:45pm
  • 23 September 2016 2-2:45pm
  • 30 September 2016 2-2:45pm

Discover Britten and Pears’ extensive art collection on display at their home. As part of the Late Britten theme, the house is presented as it would have been in the late 1970s. These tours will be delivered by our knowledgeable and dedicated team of volunteers.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£2.50 (in addition to site entry of £5)

Website

http://www.brittenpears.org/

Cake and Canticles

Cake and Canticles: Canticle III ‘Still falls the rain—The Raids, 1940, Night and Dawn’

  • 2 September 2016 3:15-5pm

Join us this summer for our first concert series combining food and music. Britten wrote his five Canticles over a period of 27 years and they are among his most beautiful and memorable pieces. Hear them all in this series together with other works by Britten in the serene and atmospheric Library. Tea and cake will be served from 3.15pm and the concert from 4-5pm. Book early to avoid disappointment as seating is limited.

Composed in 1954, with the text by Edith Sitwell. It is written for tenor, horn and piano, and was dedicated to the memory of the Australian pianist Noel Mewton-Wood.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£7.50

Website

http://www.brittenpears.org/visit-the-red-house/whats-on/event/E3572

Colin Matthews

Meet the... Director of Music

  • 13 September 2016 3-4pm

Explore the inner workings of running the Britten-Pears Foundation: its musical legacy, conservation of the house and the huge variety of work our volunteers participate in.

Our Director of Music, Dr Colin Matthews, will join us for an afternoon talk about his relationship with Britten and the work he has done since to continue Britten's legacy in Aldeburgh and around the world.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£5

Website

http://www.brittenpears.org/visit-the-red-house/whats-on/event/E3578

Paramore

Paramore

  • 14 September 2016 6:30-8pm

Owen, a young soldier in training, dares to challenge his family’s military tradition and sparks scorn, derision and a chain of darkly supernatural events…

As dusk falls on the unique location of composer Benjamin Britten’s former home, The Red House plays host to a twilight world of eerie atmosphere and ghostly tension. Fusing elements of his 1970 TV opera Owen Wingrave with one of its sources, Henry James’ The Saloon, this special production features music, drama, lighting and effects across the stunning Red House site. Young actors, musicians and local schoolchildren help create this site-specific production. As part of the HighTide Festival.

Running time 90mins without interval.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£10

Website

https://www.hightide.org.uk/productions/paramore-2

Discover session

Discovery Session: Paul Bunyan revisions

  • 14 September 2016 11am-12:30pm

Find out about the composer’s last years and the music he wrote in our exhibition and discovery sessions.

A makeover of Britten’s neglected 1941 operetta, originally composed when he was living in the USA. As part of the ‘Late Britten’ season.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

£5

Website

http://www.brittenpears.org/visit-the-red-house/whats-on/event/E3160

Paramore

Paramore

  • 15 September 2016 6:30-8pm

Owen, a young soldier in training, dares to challenge his family’s military tradition and sparks scorn, derision and a chain of darkly supernatural events…

As dusk falls on the unique location of composer Benjamin Britten’s former home, The Red House plays host to a twilight world of eerie atmosphere and ghostly tension. Fusing elements of his 1970 TV opera Owen Wingrave with one of its sources, Henry James’ The Saloon, this special production features music, drama, lighting and effects across the stunning Red House site. Young actors, musicians and local schoolchildren help create this site-specific production. As part of the HighTide Festival.

Running time 90mins without interval.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£10

Website

https://www.hightide.org.uk/productions/paramore-2

Cake and Canticles

Cake and Canticles: Canticle IV ‘Journey of the Magi’

  • 16 September 2016 11am-12:30pm

Join us this summer for our first concert series combining food and music. Britten wrote his five Canticles over a period of 27 years and they are among his most beautiful and memorable pieces. Hear them all in this series together with other works by Britten in the serene and atmospheric Library. Tea and cake will be served from 3.15pm and the concert from 4-5pm. Book early to avoid disappointment as seating is limited.

Composed in 1971, with the text by TS Eliot. It is written for counter-tenor, tenor, baritone and piano, and was dedicated to the first performers: James Bowman, Peter Pears and John Shirley-Quirk.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£7.50

Website

http://www.brittenpears.org/visit-the-red-house/whats-on/event/E3574

Come and Sing

Scratch Choir: 3 Shakespeare Songs

  • 22 September 2016 11am-4pm

One of Vaughan Williams’ most well-loved choral works, these are expressive and beautifully contrasted songs. The ability to sight read is recommended with enthusiasm and having fun the main aim of the day! The day will end with a run through in Britten’s Library. Please bring a pencil and packed lunch.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

£5

Website

http://www.brittenpears.org/visit-the-red-house/whats-on/event/E3122

Cake and Canticles

Cake and Canticles: Canticle V ‘The Death of Saint Narcissus’

  • 30 September 2016 3:15-5pm

Join us this summer for our first concert series combining food and music. Britten wrote his five Canticles over a period of 27 years and they are among his most beautiful and memorable pieces. Hear them all in this series together with other works by Britten in the serene and atmospheric Library. Tea and cake will be served from 3.15pm and the concert from 4-5pm. Book early to avoid disappointment as seating is limited.

Composed in 1974, with the text by TS Eliot. It is written for tenor and harp, and was dedicated to the memory of William Plomer, the librettist for a number of Britten’s stage works.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£7.50

Website

http://www.brittenpears.org/visit-the-red-house/whats-on/event/E3576

Meet the General Director

Meet the… General Director

  • 11 October 2016 2-3pm

Explore the inner workings of running the Britten-Pears Foundation: its musical legacy, conservation of the house and the huge variety of work our volunteers participate in.

General Director Sarah Bardwell reflects on her first year at The Red House and her career leading up to this role.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£5

Website

http://www.brittenpears.org/visit-the-red-house/whats-on/event/E3580

Discovery Session

Discovery Session: Welcome Ode and 1976 Folk Songs

  • 12 October 2016 11am-12:30pm

Find out about the composer’s last years and the music he wrote in our exhibition and discovery sessions.

Britten’s last completed work, for young people’s chorus and orchestra, and his final folk songs for voice and harp.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

£5

Website

http://www.brittenpears.org/visit-the-red-house/whats-on/event/E3162

Halloween Hijinks

Halloween Hijinks

  • 28 October 2016 5-7pm

As part of Museums at Night for the ‘culturally curious’, come for some culture and fun! Activities include carving your very own Halloween pumpkin at dusk. Friend and family groups welcome. Drop in.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£7.50 group ticket (includes families)

Website

http://www.brittenpears.org/visit-the-red-house/house-tours/event/E3598

Discovery Session: A Birthday Hansel

Discovery Session: A Birthday Hansel

  • 9 November 2016 11am-12:30pm

Find out about the composer’s last years and the music he wrote in our exhibition and discovery sessions. Come and explore the final song cycle, composed for voice and harp using the poetry of Robert Burns.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

£5

Website

http://www.brittenpears.org/visit-the-red-house/whats-on/event/E3165

Meet the... Conservator

Meet the… Conservator

  • 15 November 2016 1-2pm

Explore the inner workings of running the Britten-Pears Foundation: its musical legacy, conservation of the house and the huge variety of work our volunteers participate in.

Join Conservation Assistant Rachael Welsh on a tour around The Red House as the building is prepared for the winter.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£5

Website

http://www.brittenpears.org/visit-the-red-house/whats-on/event/E3582

Britten's birthday

Britten’s Birthday

  • 22 November 2016 1-4pm

Come and celebrate Benjamin Britten’s birthday. The site will be free to the public on this special day. Look out for displays, live music and a slice of birthday cake for all visitors.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Free admission

Website

http://www.brittenpears.org/visit-the-red-house/house-tours/event/E3601

Scratch Choir: A Ceremony of Carols

Scratch Choir: A Ceremony of Carols

  • 8 December 2016 11am-4pm

Come and sing Britten’s most festive piece accompanied by harpist Valeria Kurbatova. The ability to sight read is recommended with enthusiasm and having fun the main aim of the day! The day will end with a run through in Britten’s Library. Please bring a pencil and packed lunch. Mince pies and mulled wine will be served afterwards.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

£7.50

Website

http://www.brittenpears.org/visit-the-red-house/whats-on/event/E3127

Meet the... volunteers

Meet the... Volunteers

  • 13 December 2016 3-4pm

Explore the inner workings of running the Britten-Pears Foundation: its musical legacy, conservation of the house and the huge variety of work our volunteers participate in.

We are extremely lucky with the breadth of knowledge and skills of our volunteers. Find out about our small but dedicated team and what projects they are involved in across the organisation.

Admission

£5

Website

http://www.brittenpears.org/visit-the-red-house/whats-on/event/E3584

Discover Session: String Quartet No.3

Discovery Session: String Quartet No.3

  • 14 December 2016 11am-12:30pm

Find out about the composer’s last years and the music he wrote in our exhibition and discovery sessions.

One of Britten’s most personal and elegiac pieces, the String Quartet No. was composed in late 1975 and premiered after Britten’s death in December 1976.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

£5

Website

http://www.brittenpears.org/visit-the-red-house/whats-on/event/E3167

Christmas Carols

Christmas Carols

  • 16 December 2016 4-5pm

Join us for a sing-a-long of Christmas carols in the run up to the festive season. Mulled cider and mince pies will be provided. Proceeds will be donated to the British Heart Foundation.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Free, donations welcome

Getting there

From the A12, take the A1094 to Aldeburgh. At the roundabout past the supermarket, take the first exit: the B1122 Leiston Road. Golf Lane is the second turning on the left, directly after the 40mph speed limit ends. Users of satnav and online mapping systems beware: you may be misdirected into Linden Close, from where there is no access to our site.

The Red House, Aldeburgh
Golf Lane
Aldeburgh
Suffolk
IP15 5PY
England

Website

Britten–Pears Foundation website

www.brittenpears.org

Online guide to Britten's War Requiem

www.warrequiem.org

E-mail

enquiries@brittenpears.org

Telephone

01728 451700

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
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