Magazine article Opera Canada

Peter Grimes

Magazine article Opera Canada

Peter Grimes

Article excerpt

THIS NEW LONDON LVD OF BENJAMIN BRITTEN'S operatic masterpiece, Peter Grimes, documents the highly touted production that Tim Albery produced for the English National Opera in 1991. Videotaped during its revival at London's Coliseum in 1994, it features the accomplished English tenor Philip Langridge as Peter Grimes.

Hildegard Bechtler designed stark, ominous, somewhat claustrophobic sets that lend weight to the opera's underlying, pervasive sense of impending doom. Although one is denied the traditional Grimes set of a small Suffolk fishing village, one can still smell the sea salt in the air. This, coupled with Albery's imaginative direction, makes for a powerful and compelling theatrical experience.

It would be churlish to say that Langridge's Grimes is ineffective, but it is an interpretation that clearly leans more towards that of Sir Peter Pears' Grimes (both physically and vocally) than to that of Jon Vickers. While his performance, by all reports, was a shattering experience in the theatre, it does not quite convey that degree of intensity under the scrutiny of video cameras. …

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