Onstage: Owen Wingrave

The University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) performs Benjamin Britten’s Owen Wingrave, in which a young man chooses pacifism over a military career. Performances o

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click to enlarge Edward Nelson as Owen Wingrave (left) and Jason Weisinger as General Sir Phillip Wingrave
Edward Nelson as Owen Wingrave (left) and Jason Weisinger as General Sir Phillip Wingrave

The University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) performs Benjamin Britten’s Owen Wingrave, in which a young man chooses pacifism over a military career. 


Performances of Owen Wingrave at CCM coincide with Britten’s 100th birthday on Nov. 22, and are sponsored by a grant from the Britten-Pears Foundation. Based on a short story by Henry James, Owen is the last member of a staunchly proud military family, which is outraged by his decision to buck tradition. 

Britten himself was a lifelong pacifist and the Vietnam War was at its height when the BBC commissioned him to write this opera for television. Britten was appalled by the war but Ken Shaw, director of CCM’s production, says that Britten’s response was “an artistic expression, not anti-war propaganda.”

Owen Wingrave runs Thursday-Sunday at CCM’s Patricia Corbett Theater, University Village. Tickets: 513-556-4183. 

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