Peter Grimes – Sea Mist, Sea Breezes & a Suffolk Opera

Sometimes people have grand ideas that never come to fruition, but luckily those amazing people involved with the opera production of ‘Grimes on the Beach’ for the 2013 Aldeburgh Festival brought us a dramatic and memorable evening. Despite the myriad of difficulties associated with staging an opera outside on a beach, seeing ‘Peter Grimes’ on this specific beach where the fictional action takes place, was mesmerizing.

Grimes stage setting left
Grimes on the Beach – a dramatic yet poetic staging.

Our evening was enhanced by arriving in a thick sea mist that came and went during the performance when the weather changed as dusk turned to night.

Sea mist Aldeburgh
The sea mist engulfs the coastal path walking into Aldeburgh.

Britten’s music evoking the sea and the Suffolk coast, a particular coast of shifting shingle, has always been significant for me especially during my time living away from East Anglia. I am a girl of the grey sea and the huge skies, and hearing the waves breaking on the shingle in the quieter passages of this tragic opera was enchanting.

Grimes Stage Right
Grimes on the Beach with the North Sea as the backrop. Aldeburgh Festival 2013

It was a brave decision to mark the centenary of Britten’s birth with this ambitious production and I’m sure I’m not alone in wishing to thank and congratulate the soloists, chorus and orchestra members, and all the production team for this spirited and successful work. Bravo.

Author: agnesashe

Artisan, blogger and passionate East Anglian working from home.

5 thoughts on “Peter Grimes – Sea Mist, Sea Breezes & a Suffolk Opera”

  1. Thank you so much for following my blog! I read about this production of “Peter Grimes,” and it’s wonderful to get a firsthand account from a member of the audience. I look forward to more of your posts in the days ahead.

    1. Thank you for your comment. In passing I noticed your post on Downton which reminded me that last summer travelling back very early on the tube from taking my daughter to Heathrow, Dan Stevens (Matthew) hopped on. He knew I’d recognised him, but actually I thought he was a famous chef!! Of course, being very English I looked away and pretended I hadn’t really noticed him.

    1. Hi Liz

      Oh, I think you really do, our mist is only a very small, local affair, but it can be dramatic. (As a ye olde English person I’m presuming you mean where Mr Bennett left his heart – a favourite song of mine as it happens). Thank you for your comment.

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