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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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Benjamin Britten; Peter Pears, by Clive Strutt - NPG x15256

Benjamin Britten; Peter Pears

by Clive Strutt
bromide print, 1967
NPG x15256

Benjamin Britten; Peter Pears, printed by Decca Records - NPG x15258

Benjamin Britten; Peter Pears

printed by Decca Records
colour transparency, 1970
NPG x15258

Benjamin Britten; Peter Pears, by BBC - NPG x184263

Benjamin Britten; Peter Pears

by BBC
bromide press print, 13 November 1971
NPG x184263

Benjamin Britten; Peter Pears, by Victor Parker - NPG x15260

Benjamin Britten; Peter Pears

by Victor Parker
bromide print, 1974
NPG x15260

Osian Gwynn Ellis; Peter Pears, by Nigel Luckhurst - NPG x15265

Osian Gwynn Ellis; Peter Pears

by Nigel Luckhurst
bromide print, 17 June 1976
NPG x15265

Peter Pears; Benjamin Britten, by East Anglian Daily Times - NPG x15263

Peter Pears; Benjamin Britten

by East Anglian Daily Times
bromide print, 20 May 1976
NPG x15263

Group at at Benjamin Britten's funeral, by East Anglian Daily Times - NPG x15267

Group at at Benjamin Britten's funeral

by East Anglian Daily Times
bromide print, 7 December 1976
NPG x15267

Peter Pears, by Malcolm Crowthers - NPG x136989

Peter Pears

by Malcolm Crowthers
bromide fibre print, 2 May 1984
NPG x136989

Web image not currently available

Peter Pears

by Gilbert Bowley
print, circa 1922
NPG x15177


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