Opera Scotland

Peter Grimes 1950Covent Garden Opera

Read more about the opera Peter Grimes

There were complaints about what was already acknowledged as one of the great twentieth century operas taking as long as five years to reach Scotland. It had already been seen all over the world. Further, the creators of Peter and Ellen, Peter Pears and Joan Cross, did not journey north. But at least Reginald Goodall was the man who had conducted that famous first night at Sadler's Wells - this was many years before his wonderful reputation as a Wagnerian developed. And Edith Coates had created the role of Auntie. Tyrone Guthrie's staging had been launched at Covent Garden in 1946, just a few months after that premiere.

The Scotsman critic (29 April 1950) thought it astonishing that Grimes was Britten's first opera. "The first act took a little to warm up, but the second and third grew in horrifying tension. This was largely due to Richard Lewis, who gave one of his best performances."

"Elizabeth Abercrombie was a moving 'Ellen' while all the subsidiary parts were played with fine gusto, particularly the outrageous 'Auntie' (Edith Coates) who came straight out of a Rowlandson print".

As for Goodall, "..he raised the orchestra to exciting standards."

Performance Cast

Peter Grimes a fisherman

Richard Lewis

Ellen Orford widow and schoolmistress

Elisabeth Abercrombie

Auntie landlady of 'The Boar'

Edith Coates

Performance DatesPeter Grimes 1950

Map List

Empire Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

28 Apr, 00.00

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