Composer Benjamin Britten. Text by Montagu Slater based on the poem by George Crabbe.

Opera in three acts and a prologue by Benjamin Britten (1945)

In englischer Sprache · Mit Übertiteln in deutscher und englischer Sprache.

The opera begins with a showdown – a trial, which should actually take place at the end. A boy has died, drowned while fishing with the fisherman Peter Grimes. The circumstances are suspicious, but evidence for a conviction there is not. The acquittal is ambivalent, the stigma of being of a violent nature sticks to Grimes – as if the townspeople believe it should be so, both opponents and friends. Some see an enemy in the outcast, others the object of their compassion. Grimes is faced with ill will on all fronts, like Sisyphus. A vicious circle! It was also a life-long concern for Britten: “... the struggle of the individual against the masses. The more vicious the society, the more vicious the individual.” Everywhere he turns the snare tightens, until another piece of misfortune seals Grimes’s fate. Britten’s first grand opera is an inexhaustible panorama of interpersonal entanglements, illustrated by the world of simple coastal folk, whose seams are only scantily held together. His music penetrates deep into the soul with its tones for the lonesome individual, the unleashed masses and eternal nature.