The Red House, Aldeburgh

The Red House, Aldeburgh
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The Red House is the former home of Benjamin Britten and his partner the tenor Peter Pears. Hidden away by the golf course on the edge of the seaside town of Aldeburgh in Suffolk, the site is cherished by music-lovers worldwide as the setting for one of the greatest and most enduring creative partnerships of the last century.

Britten and Pears moved from their home on Crag Path in Aldeburgh to The Red House in November 1957. The composer eventually commented in a letter to Edith Sitwell that it was ‘alas, away from the sea, but thankfully away from the gaping faces... It is a lovely house, with a big garden all round...’

Come and enjoy the peaceful setting that Britten and Pears considered their retreat from their busy schedules of composing, concerts and recordings at home and abroad.

The Red House site includes:

The Gallery
Our engaging exhibition brings Britten’s music to life. Suitable for all ages.

The Red House
Walk through Britten and Pears’ home for twenty years and enjoy the eclectic mix of traditional and contemporary styles and their stunning art collection (open in high season only).

The Studio
The creative heart of the site where Britten worked on his music.

The Library
A beautiful, evocative space where Britten rehearsed and entertained.

The Gardens
Extensive grounds with lawns and borders awash with colour and with peaceful places to sit. Bring a picnic and play croquet and other outdoor games during the summer holidays.

The Archive
Award-winning home for Britten’s huge archive. Open by appointment and for special displays during the Aldeburgh Festival and at other times throughout the year.

Venue Type:

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

See also

Opening hours

Low Season (Wednesday 1 February - Friday 24 March)
Tuesday to Friday, 1pm - 4pm
The Studio, Library, exhibition rooms and Gardens will be open.

High Season (Tuesday 28 March - Saturday 28 October)
Tuesday to Saturday, 1pm - 5pm
The Red House and the whole site opens to the public.

The Red House is open for free-flow viewing from 2.30pm (last entry 4.30pm). A guided tour is available at 2pm (book in advance).

Aldeburgh Festival (Friday 9 - Sunday 25 June)
The whole site will be open daily from 11am - 4pm.

Free flow viewing of The Red House from 11am (last entry 3.30pm). There are no guided tours of The Red House during the Festival.

Site open for special events in November and December.

Bank Holidays
We are closed on bank holidays throughout the year.

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)

Discounts

  • National Art Pass
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 the 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.
Mary Potter Exhibition

Mary Potter Exhibition

  • 21 March — 28 October 2017 *on now

Come and see a selection of paintings by Mary Potter in Britten’s Library. All artworks are from the Britten–Pears Foundation collection.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£5.00 admission charge

Website

http://www.brittenpears.org/home/explore-the-red-house-site/whats-on

Artist Residency Open Studio

Artist Residency Open Studio

  • 30 March 2017 1-3pm
  • 6 April 2017 1-3pm

The Red House, Aldeburgh will host an artist residency at the Red Studio, the former home and studio of painter Mary Potter (1900-1981), built for her by Britten and Pears. They will each work in residence for one week before a final collaborative week together. The three artists, all painters, have been working together since 2012.

Thursday 23 March: Hayley Field
Thursday 30 March: Claudia Böse
Thursday 6 April: Jacqueline Utley

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£5 admission charge

Website

http://www.brittenpears.org/home/explore-the-red-house-site/whats-on

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.
The Red House Tours

The Red House Tours

  • 28 March — 28 October 2017

An informative guided tour given by our dedicated volunteers will offer the opportunity to explore both floors of Britten and Pears’ home. You will see original interiors and personal effects sitting alongside stunning artworks collected by the pair throughout their lives. Approx. 40 minutes and takes place Tuesdays to Saturdays.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£2.50 (in addition to £5 admission charge)

Website

https://thelittleboxoffice.com/brittenpears/event/view/57371

Music for My Beloved Man

Music for My Beloved Man

  • 30 March 2017 2-3:30pm

Britten wrote nine song cycles and five Canticles for Pears, as well as countless other songs and major roles in his stage works. Tenor Matthew Sandy explores their astonishingly creative partnership, linking it to their personal relationship and also to resonances in modern gay culture.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£7.50

Website

https://thelittleboxoffice.com/brittenpears/event/view/59091

Britten and Pears: A Celebration in Song

Britten and Pears: A Celebration in Song

  • 31 March 2017 5-6pm

A special exhibition recital given by Matthew Sandy (tenor) and Rebecca Evans (piano) exploring Britten and Pears' creative partnership with works they performed as a musical duo.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£12.50

Website

https://thelittleboxoffice.com/brittenpears/event/view/59094

‘Beguiling Britten’ – Britten’s relationships with women

‘Beguiling Britten’ – Britten’s relationships with women

  • 7 April 2017 2-3:30pm

John Mosesson will talk on the chapter ‘The women in Britten’s life and his music’ from his forthcoming book Beguiled by Britten.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£7.50

Website

https://thelittleboxoffice.com/brittenpears/event/view/59096

Audio Easter Egg Hunt

Audio Easter Egg Hunt

  • 15 April 2017 1-4pm

Linked to the family concert of The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra at Snape Maltings on Easter Sunday, come and hunt out instruments of the orchestra (and chocolate eggs!) in our ‘audio egg hunt’. Friend and family groups welcome throughout the afternoon.

Please note that it will take place outside in The Red House garden.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£7.50 per goup

Website

https://thelittleboxoffice.com/brittenpears/event/view/59098

Maggi Hambling

‘Are You So?’

  • 28 April 2017 6:30-7:30pm

In partnership with Poetry in Aldeburgh we are delighted to welcome Maggi Hambling, in conversation with Daphne Astor, discussing her work and her life as a gay artist.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£10

Website

https://thelittleboxoffice.com/brittenpears/event/view/59100

Celebrating Women Composers

Celebrating Women Composers

  • 28 April 2017 5-6pm

A recital celebrating women composers in a beautiful and varied programme performed by mezzo-soprano Erika Mädi Jones and pianist Panaretos Kyriatzidis. The recital features works by Clara Schumann, Alma Mahler, Rebecca Clarke and Madeleine Dring.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£12.50

Website

https://thelittleboxoffice.com/brittenpears/event/view/59127

Sean Shibe by Kaupo Kikkas

Shakespeare at Night

  • 18 May 2017 5-7pm

Experience The Red House site out of hours in a special Shakespeare evening. See Shakespeare-related items from the collection including a copy of King Lear, a play Britten considered turning into an opera; a guided tour of The Red House and gardens; and from 6pm a recital in the Library with the prodigiously talented guitarist Sean Shibe (‘a young guitarist with angels at his fingertips’, The List) who will perform music by Dowland and Britten’s beautiful Nocturnal (after John Dowland), a piece composed at here in 1963.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£15

Website

http://www.brittenpears.org/home/explore-the-red-house-site/whats-on

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

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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