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Suffolk Sounds

Journalist, nature writer and Britten devotee Simon Barnes celebrates the sounds of the Suffolk coast, which inspired Britten's opera Peter Grimes.

Award-winning journalist, nature-writer and Britten devotee, Simon Barnes, writes in praise of the glorious sounds of his beloved Suffolk coast which inspired Britten's opera 'Peter Grimes'.

First staged a month after VE Day, 'Peter Grimes', Britten's searing psychological drama set in a claustrophobic Suffolk fishing community was a critical and popular success which established a new kind of English operatic tradition. It was based loosely on Britten's own hometown, Aldeburgh, on the East Coast of England. It's a coast Simon Barnes knows well, with its shifting shingle beaches, sandling heaths and wide-open skies, echoing with the sounds of redshank and curlew. Here Barnes writes in praise of the landscape he's inhabited for the past few decades - a wild, rich, noisy coast, ever-changing and volatile - which can be heard throughout Britten's music.

Writer: Simon Barnes is the multi-award-winning chief sportswriter at The Times. He also writes a Saturday column on wildlife. His 18 books include three novels and the best-selling How To Be A Bad Birdwatcher. He lives in East Anglia with his family and five horses

Producer: Justine Willett.

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20 minutes