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Peter Pears

(1910-1986), Singer

Sir Peter Neville Luard Pears

Sitter in 30 portraits
Pears met Benjamin Britten in 1934, when he was a member of the BBC Singers. They gave their first recital together in 1937 at Balliol College, Oxford. Britten wrote for Pears a variety of leading roles in almost all his principal operas, from Peter Grimes (1945) to Death in Venice (1973). Pears made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera in October 1974 as Aschenbach in Death in Venice. He sang regularly at the Royal Opera House and other opera houses in Europe and the United States. He was also a celebrated interpreter of Franz Schubert's Lieder, usually with Britten as accompanist and he gave performances as the Evangelist in Johann Sebastian Bach's Passions.

Watch a film clip on the sitter from the BBC Archive in the Media section below

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Peter Pears; Benjamin Britten, by Kenneth Green - NPG 5136

Peter Pears; Benjamin Britten

by Kenneth Green
oil on canvas, 1943
On display in Room 31 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 5136

Peter Pears, by Georg Ehrlich - NPG 5909

Peter Pears

by Georg Ehrlich
plaster cast for bronze head, 1963
NPG 5909

Peter Pears, by Arnold Newman - NPG P150(30)

Peter Pears

by Arnold Newman
bromide print, 1978?
NPG P150(30)

Benjamin Britten; Peter Pears, by Fayer - NPG x15226

Benjamin Britten; Peter Pears

by Fayer
bromide postcard print, early 1940s
NPG x15226

Benjamin Britten; Ronald Duncan; Peter Pears, by Kurt Hutton (Kurt Hubschman) - NPG x15221

Benjamin Britten; Ronald Duncan; Peter Pears

by Kurt Hutton (Kurt Hubschman)
bromide print, 1950
NPG x15221

Benjamin Britten; Peter Pears, by Unknown photographer - NPG x15233

Benjamin Britten; Peter Pears

by Unknown photographer
postcard print, December 1955
NPG x15233

Peter Pears; Julian Bream, by Lotte Meitner-Graf - NPG x15240

Peter Pears; Julian Bream

by Lotte Meitner-Graf
bromide print, circa 1960
NPG x15240

Benjamin Britten; Peter Pears; William Bundy, by Michael Peto - NPG x138055

Benjamin Britten; Peter Pears; William Bundy

by Michael Peto
modern bromide print from original negative, 1963
NPG x138055

Imogen Clare Holst; Peter Pears; Benjamin Britten, by (Harald Emil) Axel Poignant - NPG x15250

Imogen Clare Holst; Peter Pears; Benjamin Britten

by (Harald Emil) Axel Poignant
bromide print, 1964
NPG x15250

Benjamin Britten; Peter Pears, by Erich Auerbach - NPG x184264

Benjamin Britten; Peter Pears

by Erich Auerbach
bromide press print, 1964
NPG x184264



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