What might Beethoven, Aaron Copland, Poulenc, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies and Benjamin Britten have in common?
"The production team consisted of a gay composer, a gay librettist, a gay director, a gay conductor, a gay choreographer and a gay impresario.
"The work was based on a book by a gay writer and starred a gay tenor as Essex.
"A gay interior designer spent £1,660 (about £50,000 today) on temporary renovations of the royal box."
Variations on Britten
Britten's operatic characters include: "Grimes, the outsider-in-society who abuses child-apprentices (Peter Grimes); Vere, the naval captain who struggles to reconcile repression and homosexual desire (Billy Budd); Aschenbach, the vulnerable old artist who draws inspiration from beautiful unattainable boys (Death in Venice)."
Britten was leading a gay life at a time when homosexual acts were illegal in the UK.
In 1953 he was 'interviewed' by the police.
While in his twenties, Britten began a sexual partnership with Peter Pears.
It has been suggested that Britten contracted syphilis and that this led to his degenerative heart problem.
"According to Morris, Britten came into his room one night and made what he understood to be a sexual approach..."
Britten was involved with a 17-year-old German boy, Wulff Scherchen (they had first met in 1934 when Wulff was 13).
"The chosen boys tended to be more or loss posh, and both sensitive and sporty."
Benjamin Britten shared a bed with the late actor David Hemmings, when Hemmings was a 12-year-old boy.
Hemmings said of Britten:
"Was I aware of his homsexuality? Yes, I was. Was I aware that he had a proclivity for young boys? Yes. I was.
According to this source - Archives - the Kray Twins ran a paedophile ring.
"What was involved was the systematic abuse of ten-to-twelve-year-old boys, one of whom subsequently became fairly well known as a singer.
"Another, rather less fortunate,wound up in six pieces in two suitcases...
Benjamin Britten as a child.
"The police uncovered a large-scale juvenile pimping operation centred on a house in a Suffolk village (Tattington) owned by Ronnie Kray.
"Some of the boys were obtained via a close friend of Benjamin Britten's in London, who named him as one of the beneficiaries of the 'service'...
"At least two other people died in the aftermath of Bernard's murder as the twins sealed up the leaks."