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© Javier del Real / Teatro Real

Britten Peter Grimes

From 26 January TO 24 February 2023
Palais Garnier - Paris
Program

Britten : Peter Grimes

3h05 avec 2 entractes de 20 min
Cast
  • Conductor
    Joana Mallwitz
  • Director
    Deborah Warner
  • Performers
    Peter Grimes: Allan Clayton
    Ellen Orford: Maria Bengtsson
    Auntie: Catherine Wyn-Rogers
    Captain Balstrode: Simon Keenlyside
  • Venue Info
  • Seating Plan
  • Synopsis

Palais Garnier - Paris Location Place de l’Opéra - 75009 Paris France

  • Venue's Capacity: 2054

Subtitles in French and English for Operas.

 

In the land of Descartes, the words «Opéra de Paris» more readily designate a concept than an actual lyrical théâtre! Called «The Royal Academy of Music and Dance» under the reign of Monsieur de Lully and «The Impérial Academy» according to différent jolitical events, the institution was rebaptized a number of time s before settling into the "alais Garnier in 1875. This sumptuous édifice, with every last détail (including the door 'cnobs...) designed by Charles Garnier, brings together the most eclectic architectural éléments. When Napoléon III worried about the buildings differing styles, Garnier reassured him by explaining "hat the design was at the forefront of a new style, called «Napoléon III.» And legend has it that 'he building was constructed on a little lake, in which the Opera's administration bred fish...

 

Some call to mmd the era of Felia Litvmne (1863-1936) and her vast repertoire, including Tannhâuser, La Juive and Lully’AlCESTE. Others remember the casts billed by Jacques Rouché between 1915 and 1945, an era during which Georges Thill sung both Massenet and Wagner in French. In 1939, the Palais Garnier's Grand Opéra and the Salle Favart's Cornic Opéra were united under the manage­ment of a common admînistrator, the «Réunion des Théâtres Lyriques Nationaux.» And 1964 marks the year during which the old ceiling of the Palais Garnier was covered with a colorfiil fresco by Chagall.

 

More recently, opéra lovers recall the magnificent Liebermann years, during which, in 1973, Rolf Liebermann, then the Opera's administrator, called upon the know-how of a musical advisor named Georg Solti! In 1989, the very modem Bastille Opéra was opened and the Salle Favart became indépendant once again. The Garnier Théâtre was then reserved for dance, and. together with the Bastille, became part of the «Association des Théâtres de l'Opéra de Paris,» rebap­tized «Opéra National de Paris» in 1994. In the midst of thèse numerous changes, the Palais Garnier has recently under-gone thorough restoration, and since March 1996, lyrical productions are once again programmed on its stage. To opéra lovers' great satis­faction, the famous théâtre has thus revived its past splendeur and a programming worthy of its glorious history.

 

Palais Garnier

The seating plan is given as an indication and has no contractual value.
The division of categories may differ depending on shows and dates.

Synopsis

Peter Grimes

PETER GRIME, A TRAGIC OPERA EXPLORING HOMOPHOBIA.

HISTORY

This opera was composed by Benjamin Britten and was first performed at Sadler's Wells, London, in 1945 as the Second World War ended. The libretto was adapted by Montagu Slater from a poem in George Crabbe's book, The Borough. The opera is set in a fictional village called The Borough, which bears some resemblances to Aldeburgh on the East Coast of England where Britten lived. The opera remains popular both in the UK and abroad and tells the tragic story of the fisherman, Peter Grimes. As Britten and Slater worked on the opera the story of the fisherman developed into a more complex tale than in the original book. Whilst still being labelled a villain by those around him, the audience are asked to believe that he is also a victim of his society. The work has been referred to, also, as an attack on homophobia.

Prologue

Peter Grimes' apprentice has died and he is being questioned at the inquest. The townsfolk have already decided that he is guilty and push for his punishment. The coroner clears him of blame, however, he advises Grimes not to take on another apprentice. Grimes feels that this is his community's unwillingness to give him a second chance and he is comforted by the schoolmistress Ellen Orford, who he wishes to marry.

Act 1

The townsfolk, represented by the chorus, sing about their weary daily round of toil in the town and at sea. Grimes is unable to work successfully alone and another apprentice is found for him by his friend, apothecary Ned Keene. John, the new apprentice, lives in the workhouse and Ellen offers to go and fetch him. John is brought to the pub that evening but Grimes is unsettled by his presence and sets off alone to his hut, braving a terrible storm.

Act 2

On Sunday morning Ellen, whilst talking to John, is horrified to find a bruise on his neck. Grimes, when confronted, claims it happened by accident. Ellen persists and Grimes hits out at her and runs off with the apprentice. Several people see this and a mob sets off for his hut. Grimes sadly laments the loss of his first apprentice but when he hears the mob approaching he gets ready to set off for sea. Whilst climbing down the cliff to the fishing boat John falls, despite Grimes warning him to be careful, and he is killed. The mob disperse when they find the hut is empty.

Act 3

During a dance, the village busybody, Mrs. Sedley, tries to convince people that Grimes is a murderer. After many days at sea he returns alone. Meanwhile a retired skipper, Captain Balstrode, has discovered a jumper on the beach which Ellen recognises as one she has made for John. Aroused by Mrs.Sedley the mob once more set off in search of Grimes. Grimes, dangerously unstable for some time, has been pushed over the edge by the death of John and he doesn't take much persuading by Balstrude to take his boat out to sea and scupper it. He is never seen again. The opera ends the following day as villagers carry on as if nothing has happened.

MAIN ROLES

Peter Grimes: a fisherman, tenor.
Ellen Orford: widow and schoolmistress, soprano.
Balstrode: retired merchant skipper, baritone.
Mrs Sedley: a widow and busybody, mezzo-soprano.
Ned Keene: apothecary, baritone.
John: Grimes' apprentice, silent role.

Palais Garnier © Jean-Pierre Delagarde / OnP

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