The performances of the singers and orchestra are first rate. Sometimes the accent of the largely L1 German speaking cast intrudes. But the single, very German neo-expressionist set, oh dear! There is nothing nautical/seafaring and about it, no sign of Grimes' hut or the seaside. Throughout there are about eleven people in costume as inhabitants of the Borough who neither sing nor speak sitting on chairs on stilts of varying heights and as I watch and listen I am continuously distracted by wondering what they are they are there for. Towards the end Grimes appears like Christ carrying the horizontal piece of His cross. Ah, the folk on the stilts sing in the final chorus. It should be said that the recording is better than a slap on the face with a piece of wet fish. But what a desolating work this opera is!
This is the first time I have seen a non English production of Peter Grimes. It gives a different take on the story. Instead of it being a very English story it is now a human story. Some people will find the production rather irritating with people on the stage all the time but rather unusually I didn't, it seemed to add to the atmosphere. Sadly I didn't really take to the Ellen Orford, her voice was a bit shrill. But I thought the chorus quite excellent.
Peter Grimes is a fisherman unable to conform to the requirements of his society due to personality/mental problems. Picture quality 5 Sound quality 3 - fades to a low level in places. Sets 5 - all the action takes place on one set. Very symbolic use of sloping straight lines. Stage has a few square shaped poles onto which are attached chairs. Various residents of the fishing village sit on the chairs throughout. This creates the impression of a close knit community where everybody knows what is going on. Overall this set reflects how the mind of Peter Grimes perceives the fishing village. Storytelling 5 Music making 5 - outstanding conducting by Welser-Most. Acting 5 Direction (camera work) 5 Singing 5 - everybody excellent. Costumes 5 - early 20th century. A modern version of this famous opera using the style of expressionism. A great achievment. Highly recommennded.