This year is the 100th anniversary of the birth of the English composer Benjamin Britten. He was born in Lowestoft, where much of my own family hail from. Both my grandparents knew him when young; they told many anecdotes about him - which I'll write about in a future Britten 100 post. I myself grew up at Blundeston, a tiny village 3 or 4 miles inland from Lowestoft.
My high school was the Benjamin Britten High School - a brand new school, and I was part of the founding year. It was not a music college, as the name might suggest, but just a normal 1970s comprehensive in a town suffering very high unemployment as it's principle industries, fishing and shipbuilding, evaporated.
The emblem at the school entrance always caught my eye - a dove flying over water. I guessed it was Noah's Ark. But why?
It was many years later when I first heard of Benjamin Britten's Noye's Fludde. The emblem was a direct reference to his wonderful children's opera!
And now I find myself working on creating designs for a production of this very work, and that 70s dove flies about in my thoughts.
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