Heads Up: Britten in Aldeburgh
Grimeswatch: in the concert hall, on the beach, round town …
What are we talking about?
In composer Benjamin Britten’s centenary year, a series of events in his home town – Aldeburgh, Suffolk – celebrate his most famous opera, Peter Grimes, inspired by the coastal spot. As part of the Aldeburgh Festival, Grimes in Aldeburgh will feature not only a concert of the opera’s score in the Snape Maltings concert hall, but also a show on the beach itself. There’s also a Punchdrunk theatre show, The Borough, inspired by Peter Grimes, which takes you on a “sonic journey around the town”.
ELEVATOR PITCH Oh we do like to Grimes beside the seaside.
PRIME MOVERS It’s conducted by Steuart Bedford, a Britten expert; the beach action is directed by Tim Albery (who recently won praise for Otello with Opera North). Felix Barrett leads the Punchdrunk Theatre Company in devising the new work.
THE TALENT The Britten-Pears orchestra perform, with the title role taken by Alan Oke (Caliban in Robert Lepage’s The Tempest for the Met Opera; Gandhi in ENO’s Satyagraha).
THE EARLY BUZZ Simon Tait in The Stage wrote that Peter Grimes “has never been staged in [Britten’s] own Aldeburgh Festival because it’s too big for the concert hall he created, easily the largest venue in the area. And it won’t be staged in this his centenary year. But it will be produced … Tim Albery will make a dramatic new venue out of the very beach at Aldeburgh that Grimes would have sailed from.” Classical-music.com also commented: “First written for Peter Pears, the role of Grimes is sung by Alan Oke, who received huge critical acclaim for his portrayal of Aschenbach in the 2007 Aldeburgh Festival production of Death in Venice. This performance gives you a rare chance to hear the opera in the magnificent concert hall that Britten built.”
INSIDE KNOWLEDGE The beach-turned-venue was where Britten himself used to go for a swim every morning.
IT’S GREAT THAT… while the orchestra is (unsurprisingly) pre-recorded for the beach shows, the recording will be made just a few days before in the concert hall.
IT’S A SHAME THAT… it’s so expensive: sitting on a bench costs up to £70, while we’re willing to bet it’s the first time you’ve spent £40 to park your bottom on a shingle beach …
HIT POTENTIAL Already selling well; will feel like a real event in the town.
THE DETAILS Grimes in Aldeburgh takes place at various venues, from 7 to 23 June.
Arts & Ents blogs
St Patrick’s Day 2014: The worst Irish accents in film history
Under The Skin, film review: Scarlett Johansson is full-blooded as femme fatale alien
Best films on Netflix: 32 movies that will put an end to your scrolling
Lord of the Flies is still a blueprint for savagery
Game of Thrones star Sibel Kekilli says she wants to see more male nudity in the show
Katie Hopkins continues campaign to become Britain's most hated talking head with poorly timed Bob Crow tweet
No EU referendum under Labour: Ed Miliband to reveal that vote on membership is ‘unlikely’ in next Parliament if party wins power
Ukip and Nigel Farage on course for remarkable victory in European elections
Tony Benn was entirely ineffectual - and usually wrong
Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
The rise of Ukip: Study warns Labour that Eurosceptic party's electoral base now 'more working class than any of the main parties'
- 1 Is your name now 'banned' in Saudi Arabia?
- 2 Gender-specific books demean all our children. So the Independent on Sunday will no longer review anything marketed to exclude either sex
- 3 Malaysia flight MH370: Pitbull song lyrics bear uncanny resemblance to missing plane mystery, according to YouTubers
- 4 Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 Q&A by Simon Calder: How far could it have travelled? Who was responsible and what would their plans be? And how can a plane just vanish?
- 5 'Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 plane found in Bermuda Triangle!' Viral Facebook links are profiting hackers