Peter Grimes, Britten, Triumph Palace Arts at Valencia

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The five performances of Peter Grimes that have taken place in the Palau de les Arts, They have resulted in a major victory, because of the excellent combination of scenery, stage direction, a magnificent orchestral performance, magnificent performance of the solo voices, well complemented by a remarkable interventions of other performers that make up the extensive cast of this opera. Y, especially, a brilliant performance as always- Choir of Valencia Generalitad, true protagonist of the work. Highlight, Inter Palace of Arts, alternate titles for the more traditional repertoire, others like this Peter Grimes, which is complemented by two other operas by Britten: A Midsummer Night's Dream and Another twist, represented in previous seasons. Definitely, in the course of these performances of Peter Grimes, the public interest in attending them has increased, especially for the excellent reception given to the first function.

Edward Benjamin Britten, Baron Britten (Lowestoft, Suffolk County, England, 22 November 1913 – Aldeburgt, Suffolk County, 4 December 1976) It was one of the most important and unique musicians of the twentieth century, with a major symphonic production, concertística and especially operas with thirteen titles, which place him as a great composer genre, during the past century, junto a Richard Strauss, Leos Janacek and Giacomo Puccini. Peter Grimes emerged as Sergei Koussevitzky commissioned, director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Britten during the stay in the US, between 1939 Y 1942. Con a libretto by Montagu Slater from del poema The Borougt (The village) de George Crabbe, where also they involved significantly, Britten himself with the tenor Peter Pears (collaborator and life partner Britten) who he was destined for the role of Peter Grimes. The premiere took place at London's Sadler's Wells Theater the 7 June 1945, only one month after the conclusion of World War II. In the euphoria of victory achieved by Britten and Pears, pride representing the birth of a new English opera was added, the first since the death of Henry Purcell 1695 or the last play of Haendel 1741. Peter Grimes is a lone fisherman, dreamer and both primitive and brutal, totally marginalized by the social environment inhabited, and only try and respect the teacher Ellen Orford Village, in love with him and Captain Balstrode, old retired navy. Grimes lost and accidentally successively three of his apprentices, which leads him to madness and a tragic end. Britten tried a recurring theme in most of his operas: the drama of outcasts faced with a hostile society, hypocritical and cruel exterminating just. Musically it is a prodigious work, full of imagination, wit and eclepticismo, wherein shake hands various influences: Verdi, in fusion orchestra, voice and dramatic situation; Debussy, Mahler y Richard Strauss, in the harmonic and orchestral color painting; Stravinsky, in the imposing rhythmic force; Puccini, especially his Fanciulla del West. As well, It should be noted certain influences of Dimitri Shostakovich Lady Macbeth, who was a great friend of Britten, dedicating his Symphony No. 14. In its formal structure, clear divisions shown recitativos, arias, duos and set numbers, with admirable dramatic unity and an orchestral role waving dramatic tension and links the seven scenes of the opera with six symphonic interludes powerful effect.
After his first London functions, and in just three years, Peter Grimes premiered in Stockholm, Antwerp, Zurich, Paris, Milan, New York and Los Angeles. His very late release in Spain took place at the Teatro de la Zarzuela in Madrid 1991 and later he was represented at the Teatro Real in Madrid, in 1997. After its strong momentum, the opera was poorly represented in the fifties of the last century. From 1963, will return to the scene of his debut at London's Sadler's Wells Theater, directed by Colin Davis, who will become since then and for more than forty years, in Peter Grimes great Guaranty. There are several recordings on CD and DVD, enabling an approach to this opera. In 1958, the first studio recording was made for Decca, with the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Benjamin Britten himself and an excellent Peter Pears as Peter Grimes. In 1969, the BBC made a film, superbly set, directed by Brian Large, currently marketed on DVD by Decca, Britten again in front of the London Symphony Orchestra, Ambrosiano Choir and Peter Pears, linking his great vocal performance an extraordinary performing arts, next to Ellen Orford, superbly played by soprano Heather Harper, who for many years will be the true benchmark of this character. Canadian tenor John Vickers first played Peter Grimes, in January 1967, in the Metropolitan New York, with musical direction of Colin Davis, since become, a key role in his repertoire, coming to interpret it for the rest of his career, in over a hundred functions, in major theaters around the world. Creating Vickers is excellent in the vocal plane, exhibiting a proven and incisive phrasing and equipping its expressive performance, highlighting the wild and crazy side of the character. Vickers made a studio recording for the label PHILIPS, in 1978, junto a Heather Harper, directed by Colin Davis at the helm of the Orchestra of Covent Garden. There is a take on video DVD sold by WARNER MUSIC, from 1981, performed at Covent Garden, production of the famous stage direction by Elijah Moshinsky and musical Colin Davis, where Vickers makes a retrospective creation of Peter Grimes, again accompanied by Heather Harper. Peter Pears o John Vickers, They are the largest Peter Grimes history, his creations are very different but complementary to give a complete picture of this complex character.

Valencianas these functions has been used historical production 1994, para el Bruselas currency Theater, dirigida por Willy Decker, which could already be seen in the Teatro Real in Madrid 1997. This has been François replacement of carpentries and Rebekka Stanzel, those responsible for the stage direction, with excellent results. The simple set design consists of a sloped floor where some large panels ranging delimiting different spaces move: church, Grimes's hut; Y, playful Tavern, with red hues that give a disturbing aspect, enhanced by the superb lighting design Trui Malten, especially when the door and a distorted shadow of Grimes opens projected on the wall, with a clearly expressionist tone. Y, especially, that seabed, more intuited that displayed, which dominates the whole work. In this scenery play a very important role numerous extras (protagonists and chorus members) moving on stage in compact groups, giving real boost to the development of dramatic action. scenically highlight the entire end of Act II, where, they are mixing with others visible spaces off: the party that forms the door with all the notables of the town, driven by the carrier Hobson drumming, towards the hut Grimes, and disappears from the scene, where there are only, in a first plane, four women: The Tabernera Auntie, his two nieces and Hellen Orford; Y, upstage can be up right and left dark silhouettes, as a birds of prey other women, finally they make a dark and stalker group, which it acts as a counterweight to the four women lying in the foreground perfectly visible. The dramatic action continued at the start of Act III, in another visible space: the cabin where are Peter Grimes and grumete, who begin to hear the drum sound announcing the arrival of the delegation cited above, which causes great disruption to Grimes, who forces the boy to fall into the sea off a cliff, where just despeñando; Grimes will help him (another scene off.) leaving the empty cabin, in which the party breaks, and again displayed. also note, the stunning end of the first part of Act III, scenically very well resolved, showing a vociferous and madding crowd, compact group, you want to lynch Grimes. In sum, a magnificent scenery of John Macfarlane, also responsible for costume design (based on black and red colors) while suitable -to 1830- in which the action takes place.

Orchestra of Valencia shone high, directed by American Christopher Franklin, to whom blame can not properly care for the dynamics, with a propensity to offer, at times, a sound somewhat flat line, using excessively sound in forte. This was illustrated, especially in the great "orchestral tutti", where some difficulty perceived in differentiating sound levels, with influence of metals on the remaining sections. This is no obstacle to highlight the magnificent performance of all orchestral sections, with a magnificent string, and the great brilliance of different instruments, especially in those precious "Sea Interludes": the first of them, "Dawn (Dawn)"As a prelude to Act I, descriptive in nature, where shines greatly the sound of flutes and violins in high register (very present during the development of the entire first scene of Act I) suggesting the flight and the cries of the seagulls or the combination of clarinets, violas and harp to show the flow of the waves. In the fourth interlude the famous "Passacaglia", located between the two scenes of Act II, with outstanding interventions of metals in conjunction with rope, and tubes with the harp or the brilliant finish sound confluence viola and celesta going to disappear fading. Very bright the implementation of the fifth Interlude "Moonligh (Moonlight)"Begins with Act III, with the impressive sound of the string as a funeral march which are inserted, at times, flute and piccolo and metals are incorporated in a large crescendo, to conclude with the sound set of xylophone and harp. also note, at the conclusion of Act II, conjoined sound of bassoons and celesta. Impressive orchestral sound in conjunction with the choir, in the concertante which concludes the first scene of Act III.

Gregory Kunde played for the second time Peter Grimes, the first was in Rome Opera 2013, and their performance was very noticeable in the vocal level and especially in the dramatic, penetrating the psychology of this complex character. Very well in his soliloquy in Act II "Now the Great Bear (Now the Big Dipper)" where, looking at the stars, meditates on his unhappy fate. Interprets notably in Act II aria "In dreams l'looks built (In my dreams he had built)"Where alternate moments of great lyricism, with those typical very Puccini inflections, with others where the song takes on aggression and violence. Y, It is very bright, with a very nuanced and theatrical performance, its final soliloquy "Steady! There you are……What harbour scheters peace (Calm! You are here!……What port it is possible to find peace?)"Where ya, completely crazy thinking, again, in that sad fate of which can not escape, and just sobbed and full of despair. Kunde is magnificent in duets Ellen Orford: which they interpreted a cappella, in the Prologue, full of hope, where both make plans for the future, with a delicate ridge line; Y, especially, the Act II, where they are contrasting serenity and sanity Ellen with violent and irrational behavior of Peter. Notable her performance in the great duet of Act I, with Captain Balstrode (well played by baritone Robert Bork) Grimes states where all your dreams and hopes and the great contradictions of his personality, in contrast to the realistic and accurate vision of Balstrode, who with his advice to Grimes, shows the great esteem he feels for him. American soprano Leah Partrigge shows certain deficiencies in the low and middle registers, but it is in possession of a sharp excellent and great theatricality that gives its interpretation. It is magnificent in its confrontation with the crowd, in Act I, and makes a wonderful and nuanced performance with exquisite singing line, in his aria in Act III "Embroidery in chilhood (when she was little)”, followed duo with Balstrode. also highlight its great performance in the beautiful quartet acute-a reflection of the role of women in relation to men- with Auntie tabernera (discreetly interpretada por la means Dalia Schaechter) and two well sung by sopranos nieces and Giorgia Rotolo Marianna Mappa, both belonging to Placido Domingo Development Center. Rosalind Plowright made an important career as a soprano in the seventies and eighties of the last century, combining a good vocalism and a great stage presence. Here as mezzo and sensitively aged, makes a remarkable interpretation of the gossipy and spiteful Mrs. Sedley. While the rest of the large cast.

Special mention Valenciana Choir Generalitad, shining a high level during his numerous interventions throughout the opera. Notably his performance in the course of the first scene of Act I, and that, in a perfect symmetrical structure, also closes the opera, when Ellen Orford and Captain Balstrade, after tragedy, re-integrate into the community dynamics. Anyway, an excellent Peter Grimes.

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