Benjamin Britten Opera to Screen in UK Movie Theatres

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Mon, 04/30/2012 - 20:00 -- Nick Dager

Rising Alternative has announced the UK screening of Benjamin Britten’s most popular opera live from the world’s most prestigious opera house in collaboration with RAI. With a new production directed by the sensational Richard Jones and sporting a distinguished cast Peter Grimes live at La Scala promises to be an evening of psychological intensity evocative music and hard-edged realism. Interviewed by Time magazine the composer once described the opera’s subject as “very close to my heart – the struggle of the individual against the masses. The more vicious the society the more vicious the individual.” Set in a fictional English seaside village closely resembling Britten’s native Aldeburgh in Norfolk Peter Grimes tells of an ambitious local fisherman accused by the inhabitants of the Borough of the apparent murder of his boy apprentices a tale of social oppression and its tragic consequences. Regularly performed as a concert suite in the Four Sea Interludes Britten paints a sound-picture of the Norfolk seascape from Dawn and Sunday Morning to Moonlight and Storm the ever-changing forces of nature paralleling the increasing turmoil within Grimes’s own mind as the opera hastens to its conclusion. Heedless of his legal trial during the Prologue Grimes continues to physically abuse his new apprentice ultimately rejecting the love of widowed schoolmistress Ellen Orford and in turn his only hope of salvation from the menacing Borough. First performed in 1945 the homosexual undercurrent of the opera emphasized as directors have seen fit (Britten himself was openly gay) gives Peter Grimes a darker ‘immoral’ side deliberately left ambiguous by the composer. Supported by the eminent Christopher Purves and Felicity Palmer and with the extraordinarily young British conductor Robin Ticciati on the podium this exceptional production team will prove to the Italians just how well the United Kingdom can do opera courtesy of Benjamin Britten. Peter Grimes live from La Scala: in cinemas nationwide May 24.