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Peter Grimes on Aldeburgh Beach (2013)

PETER GRIMES is probably Benjamin Britten's most famous and admired opera, appreciated around the globe for its visceral beauty and portrayal of a small community which struggles to ... See full summary »







Credited cast:
Alan Oke ...
Peter Grimes
Catherine Wyn-Rogers ...
Mrs. Sedley
Giselle Allen ...
Ellen Orford
Gaynor Keeble ...
Christopher Gillett ...
Rev Horace Adams
Steuart Bedford ...
Himself - Conductor
Chorus of Opera North ...
Charmian Bedford ...
Second Niece
Robert Murray ...
Bob Boles
Charles Rice ...
Ned Keene
Britten-Pears Orchestra ...
Themselves - Orchestra
David Kempster ...
Captain Balstrode
Alexandra Hutton ...
First Niece
Myah Bristow ...
Village Child
Henry Waddington ...


PETER GRIMES is probably Benjamin Britten's most famous and admired opera, appreciated around the globe for its visceral beauty and portrayal of a small community which struggles to accommodate the fisherman and outsider Peter Grimes. For 2013, PETER GRIMES comes home in a landmark project with open-air staging on the beach at Aldeburgh - the very location in which the opera is set - as dusk fades over the sea and darkness falls. Aldeburgh Music's stage production, directed by Tim Albery and conducted by Steuart Bedford, will be filmed for cinema release; the film version will be directed by leading multi-camera director Margaret Williams. With the North Sea and sky as the backdrop, a first rate chorus and orchestra PETER GRIMES ON ALDEBURGH BEACH promises to be one of the most talked about cultural events of 2013. Written by Anonymous

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Release Date:

1 September 2013 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Peter Grimes på stranden  »

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Did You Know?


This particular live production of the opera by Aldeburgh Music is known as 'Grimes on the Beach'. See more »

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User Reviews

Clouds Race on Cue
3 June 2015 | by See all my reviews

Reading the reviews of this production when it was performed live on Aldeburgh beach, it seems that the audience had an unforgettable experience although they had to suffer everything that the North Sea could throw at them in the process. This film of the production was shot in fairly calm weather although the sky still looks menacing and the sea has a lovely pink glow as the sun gets low. The orchestra is prerecorded and there is no sign of an audience although the DVD publicity claims that it was filmed during the three live performances. The soloists wear heavy-duty mikes but the chorus are unmiked. I am not sure whether they are miming or singing along to their own recording. There also seems to be some doctoring of the climatic conditions: when someone sings "It looks like there's a storm coming" we see the clouds start to race across the sky. I've no idea how this was done.

However it was done, the overall effect is quite brilliant. It is the best version of Peter Grimes that I have ever seen and it really tells the story in a way that I have never appreciated before. The set is a fairly abstract, jumble of jetties and boats. The costumes are updated to the 1940's but I did not even notice that till halfway through. Alan Oke gives a definitive performance as Grimes, both vocally and dramatically. In a strong cast Giselle Allen as Ellen Orford and David Kempster as Balstrode also stand out. The choruses are outstanding, whether or not they are mimed. There were old favourites such as Old Joe Has Gone Fishing and Grimes Is At His Exercise but I was struck more than ever before by how melodic and attainable this opera is in its entirety.

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