Opera Tickets Italy

Teatro dell'Opera di Roma

III (Poltrone di Platea), € 180
V (Palchi Laterali plt 1 Ord avanti), € 156

Peter Grimes, Opera by B. Britten

Peter Grimes, Opera by B. Britten

Rome's Teatro Costanzi is the magnificent setting for a production of Peter Grimes, the famous English opera written by Benjamin Britten. Although it was built towards the end of the nineteenth century, the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, as the Teatro Costanzi is also known, is a modern yet traditional auditorium that has been updated and improved numerous times over its lifespan. Peter Grimes has also gone through many changes over the years in terms of the production styles and different directors who have staged it but the music has always remained the same, something that audience-goers can expect when they attend this new rendition of Britten's most famous opera.

Peter Grimes was written after a narrative poem by the English clergyman George Crabbe. Based on this written work, The Borough, Britten reimagined the story through music, providing new and fresh ideas in many scenes. Opus 33, as Peter Grimes is listed among Britten's works, debuted at London’s Sadler's Wells Theatre on 7 June 1945. The British public, which had been starved of much entertainment through the war years responded to the new opera enthusiastically. It has been staged many times since and recorded on numerous occasions.

Peter Grimes begins with a prologue. This is set in an inquest following the disappearance of an apprentice who had been working for the titular character. Although accidental circumstances are said to have caused the young man to lose his life, the prologue sets the scene for the themes that are to follow, notable isolation, small-minded gossip and prejudicial sentiments among locals towards Grimes. Because the opera is set in a fictional coastal town – widely assumed to be based on Aldeburgh in Suffolk, where Britten later settled – another stirring theme that comes up is the sea itself. Several purely musical sections of the opera were written by Britten to allow stagehands to change scenery but these have become a key feature of Peter Grimes. They are now known as the Sea Interludes and have since been published in their own right. The story unfolds over three acts with a mournful monologue sung by Grimes in the final act that many find to be a deeply haunting melody.

For devotees of Britten's music or complete newcomers who have never heard of Peter Grimes before, this retelling of the story at Rome's Teatro Costanzi will provide an emotional yet enduring piece of musical entertainment.

image Rome Opera House / Silvia Lelli / Teatro dell'Opera di Roma