Britten archive opens in centenary year

An archive of acclaimed composer Benjamin Britten’s life work has opened at his former home in Aldeburgh, Suffolk, in what would have been his centenary year. Friend and renowned opera singer Dame Janet Baker was there to officially open the Britten-Pears Foundation archive building.

The archive centre is the first of its kind in the UK, containing over 700 manuscripts, letters, diaries, photographs and recordings. R G Carter has constructed the entire building, which is hermetically sealed and uses low-energy passive means to maintain optimum preservation conditions, as opposed to using air conditioning. The centre has four-hour fire resistance and is raised from the ground to lower the risk of flooding.