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Benjamin Britten was the finest opera composer that England has ever produced. And his other masterpieces – including the War Requiem, concertos, and countless songs – reveal a composer of extraordinary skill and originality.
Already a friend of the American composer Aaron Copland - pictured centre with Britten and Pears - Britten encountered his latest works Billy the Kid and An Outdoor Overture, both of which influenced his own music. In 1941 Britten produced his first music drama, Paul Bunyan, an operetta based on stories of the fabled American lumberjack, to a libretto by W.H. Auden. Picture copyright: Britten-Pears Library
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