Benjamin Britten is arguably the greatest British composers since Henry Purcell, of whom he was an ardent admirer. Unlike many composers of his time, Britten did not turn to atonal music but created a mixed musical language of his own. In 1945 he had an overnight success with his first opera Peter Grimes, the first of many masterpieces. Social exclusion is a subject at the heart of Peter Grimes and it was a central theme in Britten’s music, which offers complex and convincing psychology insights into characters who are often marginal and vulnerable. He went on to compose the chamber operas Albert Herring and The Turn of the Screw, several adaptations of which you have seen on OperaVision. From Billy Budd to Death in Venice to A Midsummer Night's Dream, Britten's operas explore profound human experiences that continue to captivate audiences around the world with their touching portrayal of the human condition.