Please note: this week’s broadcast is in partnership with Aldeburgh Festival and airs on Friday at 9pm instead of the usual Sunday.
‘I have long wanted to create a theatre work with this music. Now I have found the means to do it. Theatre or dance were always too limited a vocabulary to convey this vivid world. Circus is the key to unlock it.’ – Struan Leslie
Inspired by the hyper-sensual surrealism of Rimbaud’s poetry, director Struan Leslie’s specially-commissioned 2016 staging of Britten’s Les illuminations fuses music and contemporary circus performance. Britten’s voluptuous musical settings take flight on the back of Rimbaud’s extraordinarily evocative verse, a spectacle of extremes, a world of febrile fantasy, a parade of grotesques and lurid, erotic imagery.
For this daring new staging, Aurora is joined by soprano Sarah Tynan and an ensemble of international circus performers in a programme that also includes Britten’s Young Apollo, Debussy’s String Quartet and music from John Adams’ Shaker Loops.
Filmed live at the 2016 Aldeburgh Festival.