Benjamin Britten Noyes Fludde (Noah's Flood)


This fully staged production of Britten’s one-act opera has been performed worldwide, with its American premiere taking place sixty years ago in New York. Traditionally staged in churches, this year’s Family Concert will take place in Packer Memorial Church at Lehigh University

Britten combines a child’s curiosity and whimsy with great emotional power in this evocative one-act church opera. The audience will join for the first hymn, which includes a thundering depiction of the biblical storm.

Britten throws every tool in his composer’s purse at the text, including a large battery of percussion contrasts with delicate trilling recorders, and in one evocative scene, a raven is given the voice of a cello, and the dove a fluttering recorder (perhaps an allusion to Bach’s use of trilling flutes to represent turtledoves in an early cantata).

There are roles for children’s chorus, many specialty instruments, vocal soloists, The Choir, and more. Britten was hugely influenced by Bach, and many of Bach’s most oft-used compositional practices were updated by Britten in his choral works.

The Bach Choir and The Bach Festival Orchestra welcome The Bel Canto Youth Chorus, Pennsylvania Youth Theater, and members of the Lehigh University Philharmonic Orchestra to share this performance.