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Richard Fairman
Gramophone, December 2014

BRITTEN, B.: Peter Grimes (Aldeburgh Festival, 2013) (NTSC) 102179
BRITTEN, B.: Peter Grimes (Aldeburgh Festival, 2013) (Blu-ray, HD) 108101

This souvenir from Britten’s centenary deserves a lasting place in the catalogue. …a windswept, emotionally engulfing performance, in which the human story is palpably at the mercy of forces beyond its control. © 2014 Gramophone

Philip Campbell
Bay Area Reporter, April 2014

Tenor Alan Oke…takes on the title role for the first time with a scrawny and scruffy air that doesn’t hide his scared eyes and troubled soul. He is closer to the original Peter Pears in looks and sound than later performers, but he has a unique quality that lets us see the complexity of the character.

Giselle Allen as Ellen Orford gives a totally convincing portrait of a woman torn by her own emotions. She is also vocally excellent…The other major standout in a fine ensemble cast is David Kempster as Captain Balstrode.

The story and the sweep of the production absorb us quickly, and the shattering climax, played against a jet-black sky with a burning oil can illuminating the stage, is quietly stunning. © 2014 Bay Area Reporter Read complete review

Richard Fairman
Gramophone, April 2014

BRITTEN, B.: Peter Grimes (Aldeburgh Festival, 2013) (NTSC) 102179
BRITTEN, B.: Peter Grimes (Aldeburgh Festival, 2013) (Blu-ray, HD) 108101

In almost all respects the technical side of the operation is a near triumph. Having the singers perform live…to the accompaniment of a prerecorded orchestra was a gamble but it has paid off with very decent sound, the voices forward enough to make sure that every word can be heard. Picture quality is remarkably good…

…this DVD makes a unique and satisfying experience. © 2014 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

Jason Victor Serinus
San Francisco Classical Voice, March 2014

BRITTEN, B.: Peter Grimes (Aldeburgh Festival, 2013) (NTSC) 102179
BRITTEN, B.: Peter Grimes (Aldeburgh Festival, 2013) (Blu-ray, HD) 108101

Of all the productions of Britten operas staged for the centennial celebration of his birth, in 2013, nothing can possibly top this open-air staging of Peter Grimes on Aldeburgh Beach.

Tenor Alan Opie…gives a strong performance, squeezing out high notes beyond expectation. Giselle Allen (Ellen Orford)…sings beautifully. Gaynor Keeble is as convincing of Auntie’s madame-hood as is veteran artist Catherine Wyn-Rogers of Mrs. Sedley’s stiffnecked morality. Christopher Gillet as the hypocritical Rev. Horace Adams, and Charles Rice as free spirit Ned Keene are also excellent. © 2014 San Francisco Classical Voice Read complete review

Lawrence D. Devoe, MD, February 2014

Setting the opera in Britten’s own town of Aldeburgh, and on a beach with clouds and surf in the backdrop, gives the audience a unique view of this masterpiece, possibly as the composer would have loved it to have seen it performed. Strong contributions by the principals, particularly given the outdoor staging, and under the knowing baton of old hand Steuart Bedford, give us the surge of the sea and the harsh realities of life in this poor coastal village.

Set in the era of the opera’s premiere at the end of WW II, set and costume designer Leslie Travers gives us an authentic period feeling. Screen director Margaret Williams…finds the right balance between the beach and its natural images…and the boats and boardwalk. Certainly, one of the best HD filmed operas that I have seen to date.

…the coordination of orchestra and voices (head-miked on the set) is sensational.

Given the striking seaside setting and a strong cast…this Peter Grimes becomes my current top Blu-ray choice. © 2014 Read complete review

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