Britten 100 - Chamber version of ‘Owen Wingrave’ performed around the world

Britten 100 - Chamber version of ‘Owen Wingrave’ performed around the world In 2007 David Matthews worked on a reduced orchestration of Britten’s opera Owen Wingrave. This has brought new life to the opera and as one critic put it, made the original ‘swifter and meatier.’ As Matthews himself explains:

‘The scoring of Owen Wingrave, is closer to Britten’s chamber operas - Albert Herring and The Turn of the Screw - than to Peter Grimes or Billy Budd. So it was relatively straightforward to make a reduction from the original double woodwind, seven brass, three percussion, harp, piano and strings to an ensemble of 15 players - single wind, horn, trumpet and trombone, two percussion, piano and string quintet... the intimacy of the
story suits chamber forces. The elaborate percussion part had to be scaled down, and the original harp and piano parts combined; but in general there was very little that I had to omit, and the overall sound remains authentic.’

In the centenary year alone, seven productions of this new version are taking place. Since January the opera has been performed in the Netherlands with Opera Trionfo, at Boston University and at the Kimmel Center, Philadelphia. This April, Opéra du Rhin take up the baton with several performances around France. British audiences will have the opportunity to hear the opera at the Guildhall School of Music in June and then in Aldeburgh with the Oxbridge Opera Company in September. In November it travels to Cincinnati. Further productions are planned for 2014.

Owen Wingrave scores are available to buy on our website: Vocal Score, Study Score & Libretto