Opera

Peter Grimes

Benjamin Britten (1913 – 1976)
Sung in English, with German surtitles
Opera in three acts and a prologue | Libretto: Montagu Slater, derived from the poem "The Borough" (1810) by George Crabbe
First performance: 1945 in London

Photo: Karl & Monika Forster
Photo: Karl & Monika Forster
Photo: Karl & Monika Forster
Photo: Karl & Monika Forster
Photo: Karl & Monika Forster
Photo: Karl & Monika Forster
Photo: Karl & Monika Forster
Photo: Karl & Monika Forster
Photo: Karl & Monika Forster
Photo: Karl & Monika Forster
Photo: Karl & Monika Forster
Photo: Karl & Monika Forster
Photo: Karl & Monika Forster
Photo: Karl & Monika Forster

Born in the small Suffolk coastal village of Lowestoft, Benjamin Britten often took inspiration from the natural beauty of the seaside landscape and the unpredictable powers of the sea, with its deadly depths, powerful waves and gales. Following “The Turn of the Screw”, the State Theatre now stages “Peter Grimes”, the composer’s first full-length opera. He drafted it during the sea crossing from the United States back to his native Britain. The time was World War III and the composer – a self-professed pacifist – faced an uncertain future.

In the figure of Peter Grimes, Britten vividly embodies a man so damaged by ongoing social pressures and traumatic experiences, that he is ultimately destroyed by them. After the mysterious accidental death of his apprentice, the reclusive fisherman faces the evil suspicions, prejudices and unforgiving wrath of his fellow villagers. Obsessed with the idea to finally find social inclusion through wealth, Grimes also slavedrives his new apprentice, to the point of risking another death.

With its epic choruses and moving symphonic seascapes, Britten’s first opera is a significant musical achievement. Designer Rolf Glittenberg’s spectacular floating stage area underpins the delicate balance between public perception and subjective truth in a society where Lance Ryan’s Grimes is as much a victim as he is offender.

Cast

Conductor Albert Horne
Director Philipp M. Krenn
Stage & Costume Designer Rolf Glittenberg
Chorus Master Albert Horne
Lighting Designer Andreas Frank
Dramaturgy Katja Leclerc
Peter Grimes Lance Ryan
Ellen Orford Johanni van Oostrum
Balstrode Thomas de Vries
Auntie Andrea Baker
Niece 1 Katharina Konradi
Niece 2 Sarah Jones
Boles Benedikt Nawrath
Swallow Benjamin Russell
Mrs. Sedley Romina Boscolo
Pastor Adams Aaron Cawley
Ned Keene Alexander Knight
Hobson Hans-Otto Weiß
Chor & Statisterie des Hessischen Staatstheaters Wiesbaden, Hessisches Staatsorchester Wiesbaden