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Peter Grimes

This listing is in the past
Southbank Centre: Royal Festival HallBelvedere Road, London, Greater London, SE1 8XX, United Kingdom
On Saturday 30 November 2019 at 19:00
Britten, Benjamin (1913-1976)Peter Grimes (Concert performance)
Edward GardnerConductor
Vera Rostin WexelsenDirector
Stuart SkeltonTenorPeter Grimes
Erin WallSopranoEllen Orford
Roderick WilliamsBaritoneCaptain Balstrode
Susan BickleyMezzo-sopranoAuntie
Robert MurrayTenorBob Boles
Hanna HusáhrSopranoFirst Niece
Vibeke KristensenSopranoSecond Niece
Barnaby ReaBassHobson
James GilchristTenorRev Horace Adams
Clive BayleyBass-baritoneSwallow
Catherine Wyn-RogersMezzo-sopranoMrs Sedley
Marcus FarnsworthBaritoneNed Keene
Bergen Philharmonic Choir
Edvard Grieg Choir
Musicians from the Royal Northern College of Music
Collegium Musicum of London Chamber Choir
Håkon Matti SkredeChoirmaster / chorus director
Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra

Fall under the spell of a landmark British opera in this acclaimed semi-staged production by the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra. Edward Gardner conducts and Stuart Skelton takes the lead role.

A gripping human drama centering on a mysterious antihero, swept along by glittering waves of expressive music, Britten’s enduringly compelling work has often been named the greatest British opera of all time. In a fishing village in East Anglia, the solitary, surly fisherman Peter Grimes is acquitted of the murder of his apprentice, but the gossiping villagers eye him askance. Then a second boy dies.

Premiered in June 1945, Britten’s opera was launched to mark the post-war reopening of Sadler’s Wells and the return of the arts in peacetime. Powerful, accessible, and cinematic, its vivid, moving music like nothing heard before, it made Britten internationally famous, and captured the popular imagination. At the bus stop outside Sadler’s Wells, Britten’s partner Peter Pears was tickled to hear bus conductors giving the production a shout-out: ‘Any more for Peter Grimes, the sadistic fisherman?’

This winter at Royal Festival Hall, Australian tenor Stuart Skelton returns to a role for which he has received widespread international praise. The Sunday Times has called him ‘the Grimes de nos jours’ and The Guardian names his interpretation of the part ‘the best around today’. His performances as Grimes with English National Opera, for which he was nominated for an Olivier Award, were conducted by Edward Gardner during his ten-year tenure as ENO’s Music Director. The Guardian commented, ‘it's Gardner who pulls all the threads together in conducting that is effortlessly vital, marvellously lyrical and searingly intense.’

Gardner and the Bergen Philharmonic are joined by an all-star cast, including Erin Wall as schoolmistress Ellen Orford, described by The Financial Times as ‘a soprano of radiance, pristine beauty and tingling top notes’. Roderick Williams, praised by The New York Times for his ‘rich, burnished baritone’, appears as Captain Balstrode and Susan Bickley ‘resplendent’ as Auntie. Three choruses take the stage for an opera known for its rousing massed vocals. The semi-staged production features Rostin Wexelsen’s strikingly suggestive minimalist design.

Ticket prices: £65, £50, £35, £28, £20

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