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Britten: Peter Grimes (Met Live CD) – Jon Vickers

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Item: 811357018279

Description

Britten: Peter Grimes (Met Live CD) – Jon Vickers

Composer: Benjamin Britten
Artists: Jon Vickers, Lucine Amara, Geraint Evans, Lili Chookasian, Jean Madeira, Raymond Michalski, Gene Boucher, Paul Franke, Robert Schmorr, Louis Sgarro, Mary Ellen Pracht, Lilian Suk, Edward Ghazal, William Mellow, Dorothy Shawn, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra & Chorus
Conductor: Colin Davis
Number of Discs: 1
Label: Metropolitan Opera
Release Date: December 13, 2021

Live performance recorded February 11, 1967.

Britten’s Peter Grimes is one of the very few operas of the mid-20th century to have found a solid place in the international mainstream repertoire. It first appeared at the Metropolitan Opera in 1948, less than three years after its London premiere, in a handful of acclaimed performances that year and in 1949, featuring first Frederick Jagel and then Brian Sullivan in the title role.

It was not until 1967 that the Met returned to Peter Grimes and found the right combination, in its new home at Lincoln Center, for this stark, riveting tragedy. The new production, directed by Tyrone Guthrie, opened January 20, 1967, and featured Canadian tenor Jon Vickers in his first performance as Grimes – a historic moment. The world would soon recognize Vickers as the greatest interpreter of this enigmatic character. 

Vickers was an ideal match for the role of Grimes vocally, physically, and interpretively. “Possessed of both the physique and the vocal stamina for the part, Vickers [is] a powerful embodiment of the drives and the uncertainties, the inner tensions and, occasionally, the outer releases, of a fate-driven personality,” Irving Kolodin wrote in Saturday Review. “The end result is something of a rarity on the operatic stage: a virtuoso performance of a far from simple vocal task combined with a powerful involvement in the human condition that spells his life or death.” 

The broadcast performance of Peter Grimes on February 11, 1967 transmits something of the intensity Kolodin described. Among the Met’s most versatile and reliable singers in a house career that spanned 41 seasons, American soprano Lucine Amara is heard as the compassionate Ellen Orford. The Welsh bass-baritone Geraint Evans brings his great voice and authority to the role of Captain Balstrode. And the Met’s impressive roster of comprimario artists also shines in the teeming cast of Peter Grimes, an opera whose time finally came at the Met in 1967.



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