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Britten: Peter Grimes on Aldeburgh Beach [Arthaus: 102179] [DVD] [2013] [Region Free] [NTSC]

4.7 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Alan Oke, Giselle Allen, David Kempster
  • Format: Classical, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Japanese
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Arthaus
  • DVD Release Date: 25 Nov. 2013
  • Run Time: 145 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 35,205 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

PETER GRIMES on Aldeburgh beach

Filmed at the Aldeburgh Festival, June 2013
Peter Grimes Alan Oke
Ellen Orford Giselle Allen
Captain Balstrode David Kempster

Britten-Pears Orchestra

Conductor Steuart Bedford
Directed for the screen by Margaret Williams
Live production directed by Tim Albery

Filmed in June 2013 during three extraordinary performances that took place during the Aldeburgh Festival, Peter Grimes on Aldeburgh beach takes place in the heart of the town that inspired it and is the film interpretation of Britten's Peter Grimes, the most successful opera of post-war Britain.

Based on George Crabbe's 1810 poem The Borough', Britten's powerful and masterful evocation of the North Sea in all its moods has become inextricably linked with the Aldeburgh that was home to Crabbe in the late eighteenth century and Britten in the twentieth, and where both poem and opera were written. Conceived and hosted by the Aldeburgh Festival, the performances of Peter Grimes were directed by Tim Albery who placed the audience on the beach watching the story of Peter Grimes unfold as dusk fades over the sea.

The cast and chorus, with Alan Oke in the eponymous role of Peter Grimes, Giselle Allen as Ellen Orford, and David Kempster as Captain Balstrode, sing live with amplification, while the Britten-Pears Orchestra under the baton of Britten expert Steuart Bedford is pre-recorded.

Sound Format: PCM Stereo, DD 5.1
Picture Format: 16:9
DVD Format: DVD 9 / NTSC
Running Time: 145 mins & 20 mins (Bonus)
Subtitles: GB (Original Language), DE, FR, ES, IT, JP
FSK: 0


Critics Choice --Gramophone, Dec'14

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I have three versions of this opera on DVD/Blu-ray, all of them are good, with subtle differences between them.
The oldest is the Royal Opera recording with Jon Vickers and Heather Harper, conducted by Colin Davis, dating from 1981. The second is the Met performance with Anthony Dean Griffey and Patricia Racette, conducted by Donald Runnicles, dating from 2008. The third is the recent (2013) Aldeburgh on the Beach performance with Alan Oke and Giselle Allen conducted by Steuart Bedford.
The two opera house recordings have crowded, claustrophobic sets, whereas the wide sprawling set on Aldeburgh beach emphasises the presence of nature. The Royal opera set is the most conventional of the three. The Met set often compartmentalises the singers. The Aldeburgh beach set is a very impressive panorama, brilliantly designed and implemented. However it does reduce the scale of the performers, who become more vulnerable to the forces of nature.
The singing and performances are excellent on all three recordings.
The sound quality is best on the Met production.
There are many layers to the opera.
Two factors bear down on Peter Grimes: the forces of nature and the forces of society. The stage productions can only hint at the forces of nature, while the Aldeburgh production actually adds the scale of nature to the power of the music.
Grimes is undoubtedly an unpleasant loner with a temper. He loves Ellen Orford, a widowed school teacher who describes her life in drab terms. He is overplayed as a tortured soul in the Met performance. His very ordinariness on Aldeburgh beach gives him a greater depth as the action progresses, he is a flawed everyman rather than a misunderstood poet.
Read more ›
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By Adrian Drew TOP 500 REVIEWER on 7 Jan. 2014
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This is one of the clearest and most effective production of the opera I have ever seen. The diction is perfection, the acting splendid and even if the audio recording is not always perfect the drama more than compensates! How wonderful to see a production which is not absurdly concept driven and delivers this masterly work with such brilliance and emotional force. Oke and the cast are all on fine form and the setting is exquisite. Even if the cgi cloud masses were a little over the top at times, the general impression was of a superbly conceived and delivered theatrical triumph! Congratulations to all concerned. The blu ray transfer is visually excellent and the occasional sound "problems" were clearly inherent in the source material and in the circumstances entirely forgivable! One can only wish one was present at this landmark performance - but the blu ray certainly has it's compensations for those of us unfortunate enough to have missed it!
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Having applauded Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears at the 1961 revival of Peter Grimes at the old Sadlers Wells, I was at least as strongly moved by this historic undertaking in June 2013 if not more so. The beach and ocean at Aldeburgh, which Britten's home for many years overlooked and where fishermen's huts still dominate the shore, provided the inspiration for much if not most of the music in the first and possibly greatest post-war opera. I have often strolled along the beach at Aldeburgh with Britten's Grimes interludes playing in my head and punctuated with the roar of the waves where they originated. In June 2013 I sat with my love and 1800 others on temporary stands on the beach for the realisation of what previously could only be imagined. Grimes had never had a staged performance in Aldeburgh or in Britten's Maltings concert hall in neighbouring Snape. There was no hall large enough for it. Now it was on the beach, the very beach. At the dress rehearsal the previous night, the ordinary townspeople attended. Many of them had never heard an opera, let alone this opera. All we spoke to in the next week were transformed personally and in their view of opera and Britten himself by this unprecedented experience. There followed three sold-out performances, of which we saw the first. No DVD can possibly completely record this massive experience, but this recording has come as close as possible and will be treasured by all who were there. It is a permanent tribute to Jonathan Reekie's years in charge of music at Aldeburgh and to all he enlisted to realise this amazing achievement.Read more ›
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Format: DVD
I have to admit, I am a Britten fan and that I find that rarely I am let down when interacting across all of his works. That said, rarely am I REALLY engaged with his works as I am so used to them. However, I was privileged enough to sit on the beach for the actual performance of this version of Grimes. The collective beach experience, staging, dramaturgy, REALLY WELL DIRECTED PERFORMERS and use of Aldeburgh beach as a backdrop was just beyond belief. Simply, because one gets to really understand where Britten's inspiration came from and then it goes even further in a way I can't describe. It elevates the work into a different realm.
This DVD tis not the wedding video version. The film version goes even closer to the heart of this work with wonderful close-ups, the interludes are instantly recognisable by the meditations on the place itself. The performers are even better when seen this close and it is indeed a different version of the same thing. It feels very recognisable but unique at the same time. I thoroughly enjoyed watching this.
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