Peter Pears (Sir)
Peter Pears (Sir) 1910 – 1986 was an English tenor.
While a member of the BBC Singers, in 1936 Peter Pears met composer Benjamin Britten- who was to become his life partner. They gave their first recital together in 1937 and by 1939 were both well known registered pacifists.
Many of Britten’s works contain a tenor role specifically written for Pears.
They include the Nocturne, the Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings, the Canticles, the operas Peter Grimes and Albert Herring (title roles), his adaption of The Beggar's Opera (Macheath), Owen Wingrave (Sir Philip Wingrave), Billy Budd (Captain Vere), The Turn of the Screw (Quint), Death in Venice (Aschenbach) and the three Church Parables.
Pears was a co-librettist for Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He made his Metropolitan debut in ‘74 in Death in Venice but sang regularly at the Royal Opera and other major opera houses throughout Europe.
He was considered a notable interpreter of Lieder and regularly sang in the Bach Passions. His voice was sometimes controversial and certainly it did not record well – but there is no doubt that his association with Benjamin Britten was a pivotal part of one of the great musical associations of the 20th Century.