[Met Performance] CID:217890
Peter Grimes {21} Metropolitan Opera House: 03/21/1969.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
March 21, 1969


PETER GRIMES {21}

Peter Grimes............Jon Vickers
Ellen Orford............Lucine Amara
Captain Balstrode.......Geraint Evans
Mrs. Sedley.............Jean Madeira
Auntie..................Lili Chookasian
Niece...................Mary Ellen Pracht
Niece...................Lilian Sukis
Hobson..................Paul Plishka
Swallow.................Raymond Michalski
Bob Boles...............Paul Franke
Rev. Horace Adams.......Robert Schmorr
Ned Keene...............Gene Boucher
Lawyer..................William Mellow
Fisherwoman.............Gail Leonard
Fisherman...............Edward Ghazal
John....................John Allan

Conductor...............Colin Davis

Review of Herbert Weinstock in Opera (UK)

On March 21, "Peter Grimes" was magnificently conducted by Colin Davis, admirably sung and acted by Jon Vickers in the title-role; Lucine Amara (Ellen Orford), who expertly husbanded her rather thin voice; and the ever-excellent Geraint Evans (Captain Balstrode). In Tyrone Guthrie's admirable production and the pertinent settings and costumes of Tanya Moiseiwitsch, Britten's durable opera made a strong, towering, tragic effect. All critics secretly long to 'improve' every production. Given my chance with this one, I should change one piece of stage-business and alter one set. At the end of Act 3, Scene 1, where Montagu Slater's libretto requires the chorus, shouting 'Peter Grimes! Peter Grimes!' to 'scatter in all direction', I would not have its members stretched out across the stage front and shouting directly at the audience instead. And, without sacrificing the claustrophobic effect at which the designer appears to have aimed, I would not have made the upturned boat that serves as Grimes's hut in Act 2, Scene 2, so small that the slightest miscalculation of movement on the part of either Grimes or his apprentice can introduce disaster. As the performance is, however, and without my help, "Peter Grimes" (which now has been in and out of the Met's repertory for more than 20 years) is one of the company's claims to artistic respect and altogether worthy of one of the half-dozen operas by a living composer which belongs to the great tradition.



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