Curlew River

St Bartholomew the Great, Smithfield

9 - 13 January, 2018

By Benjamin Britten

Ante Terminum Productions

Producer / Musical Director Frederick Waxman

Artistic Director Peter Thickett

Set & Costume Designer Crispin Lord

Lighting Designer Edward Saunders

Marketing Manager Thea Waxman

Curlew River marked a quilting point in the development of Britten's musical style, paving the way for the 'orientalism' that was to pervade his work right up until his death.


Taking his inspiration from Japanese gagaku court theatre and classical Noh drama, which he had encountered during his concert tour of the Far East in 1955, Curlew River emerged as a work poised for the exploration of issues surrounding identity and otherness.


Written amidst an international landscape fraught with political tensions and with the threat of destruction lingering on the brink, Curlew River unfolds as a deeply pathetic meditation on pain, loss and, however eventual, acceptance.