[Met Performance] CID:217890

Peter Grimes
Metropolitan Opera House, Fri, March 21, 1969

Peter Grimes (21)
Benjamin Britten | Montagu Slater
Peter Grimes
Jon Vickers

Ellen Orford
Lucine Amara

Captain Balstrode
Geraint Evans

Mrs. Sedley
Jean Madeira

Lili Chookasian

Mary Ellen Pracht

Lilian Sukis

Paul Plishka

Raymond Michalski

Bob Boles
Paul Franke

Rev. Horace Adams
Robert Schmorr

Ned Keene
Gene Boucher

William Mellow

Gail Leonard

Edward Ghazal

John Allan

Colin Davis

Review 1:

Review of Herbert Weinstock in Opera

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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