Opera Scotland

Peter Grimes 2017Edinburgh International Festival

Read more about the opera Peter Grimes

2017 being the 70th year of the Edinburgh Festival, the opera programme was a celebratory one with a distinctly expanded line-up of nine works.

Peter Grimes has only been given at a single previous Festival, in 1968, when the music of Britten was one of two themes of the musical programme, the other being Schubert. On that occasion, the work was given an excellent staging by Scottish Opera, under Alexander Gibson, directed by Colin Graham. Of the present cast, Stuart Skelton had a great success as Grimes in a recent production at ENO, conducted by Edward Gardner. Christopher Purves, here singing Balstrode, had performed Ned Keene with Scottish Opera near the start of his operatic career in 1997. Catherine Wyn-Rogers has for many years been an ideal interpreter of Mrs Sedley, and sang the part with Scottish Opera as long ago as 1994.

Of the first week of the opera programme, the concert-staging of Don Giovanni tended to divide opinion, while Greek was generally well received. However the undoubted unanimous hits were the two Sunday evening concert performances - Die Walküre on the first weekend and Grimes on the second.

Grimes was scarcely experienced as a concert performance at all, so brilliantly projected was the drama. Even the assembled choirs sang from memory. The solo singers all created superb three-dimensional character studies, with Grimes himself leaving the stage a broken man, bare-footed, making his exit through the auditorium.

Performance Cast

Hobson carrier, constable of The Borough

Barnaby Rea

Swallow lawyer, Mayor of The Borough

Brindley Sherratt

Peter Grimes a fisherman

Stuart Skelton

Mrs 'Nabob' Sedley widow of an East India Company factor

Catherine Wyn-Rogers

Ellen Orford widow and schoolmistress

Erin Wall

Captain Balstrode a retired sea officer

Christopher Purves

Bob Boles fisherman and Methodist

Robert Murray

Rev Horace Adams the Rector

James Gilchrist

Auntie landlady of 'The Boar'

Susan Bickley

First 'Niece'

Hanna Husáhr

Second 'Niece'

Vibeke Kristensen

Ned Keene apothecary and quack

Marcus Farnsworth

John the new apprentice

Samuel Winter

Performance DatesPeter Grimes 2017

Map List

Usher Hall | Edinburgh

13 Aug, 18.00

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