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Anthony Dean Griffey and Patricia Racette excel in John Doyle’s new production of Britten’s most celebrated opera, Peter Grimes – filmed live at the Metropolitan Opera in Hi-Definition.
This new MET production by award-winning director John Doyle (2006 Tony Award® Best Direction of a Musical – Sweeney Todd) of Britten’s haunting seaside tale continues EMI Classics’ recent collaboration with the Metropolitan Opera : Live in High-Definition series.
Peter Grimes, Britten’s second opera, is widely regarded as one of the masterpieces of postwar opera, and its premiere 63 years ago marked a turning point in the history of British Opera.
It is now considered a masterwork of 20th Century opera, and since its premiere, it became the first opera by an English composer to enter and remain in the international repertory.
The work is based on a poem by the turn-of-the-19th-century writer George Crabbe entitled The Borough, and is set in an isolated English fishing village in the 1830s.
Much of the emotional drive of the opera comes from the six ‘Sea Interludes’ – calm, storm, at dawn and by moonlight. These are among the most brilliantly evocative music that Britten ever wrote and which help to establish the constant, overpowering presence of the sea as the opera’s dominant force.
Anthony Dean Griffey, as Grimes, is ‘superb’ (San Francisco Chronicle). Patricia Racette, as Ellen Orford, the schoolmistress who tries and fails to rescue Grimes from his anger and self-pity is ‘near faultless’ (New York Sun).
Donald Runnicles, music director of the San Francisco Opera, “drew an inspired performance from the Met Orchestra, full of passion and commitment yet free of bombast. Without slackening the dramatic tension, he found ways of drawing out both the music's austere lyricism and its violent extremes.” – Boston Globe
Production: John Doyle, Set designer: Scott Pask, Costume designer: Ann Hould-Ward & Lighting designer: Peter Mumford
“…impressively cast, but in an overly stylised staging which reduces village life to milling dispiritedly beneath a vast black wall.”
“...a fine performance, powerfully conducted by Donald Runnicles. In the title role Anthony Dean Griffey matches that power...with a tenor which is confidently firm and precise, matching his fine acting as a lumbering figure...Felicity Palmer as Mrs Sedley is vividly characterful.”
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