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Opera Cheat Sheet

Opera Cheat Sheet: Peter Grimes

An overview of Britten’s tale of the outsider fisherman, Saturday’s noon opera.



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In this week’s Opera Cheat Sheet, Houston Public Media’s St.John Flynn and Eric Skelly discuss Benjamin Britten’s epic tragedy Peter Grimes.

Inspired by the story in George Crabbe’s The Borough, acollection of poems about life in a village on the east coast of England at the start of the 19th century, Britten’s opera tells of the demise of the outcast fisherman Peter Grimes, and the townsfolk who threaten him.

Tune in for San Francisco Opera’s performance of Peter Grimes, Saturday at noon on Houston Public Media Classical 91.7.

[The musical excerpts heard in this OCS come from the 1990 Virgin Classics recording of Britten’s Four Sea Interludes and Passacaglia featuring Libor Pešek conducting the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra (VC 7 90834-2)]

Stuart Skelton (right) as Peter Grimes in the Opera Australia/Houston Grand Opera co-production of Peter Grimes. (Branco Gaica © 2009 / Opera Australia)