at the University of San Francisco

The Fromm Institute For Lifelong Learning

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An Introduction to Britten’s Dramatic Music


Seminar: Benjamin Britten

Professor:  Jonathan Bailey

In our first week of reading and listening, we focus our attention on one work:  ST. NICOLAS.  The libretto for this work is found under the ‘Reading’ heading along with notes by Jeffrey Thomas.  ‘Listening’ contains the complete work divided into nine movements with brief commentary on each. (The entire work lasts approximately 50 minutes.)  By looking intently at one work, we can explore Britten’s musical language, and experience his concern for story-telling as well as his love for amateur musicians to perform his music.



Complete Text to ‘St. Nicolas’ . . . & notes by Jeffrey Thomas




A full, recent, beautiful performance of the work.  NOTE:  When you log in here, you come in towards the end of the work.  Please, oh please, rewind it back to the beginning to hear the entire piece!!!


Audio and listening guide from  Christ Church Cathedral/Indianapolis, IN