21 September – 11 October 2023 (8 Performances)
Benjamin Britten (1913-1976)
Libretto by Montagu Slater after George Crabbe
Conductor, Martyn Brabbins
Director, David Alden
Under 21s can get free opera tickets to all ENO performances at every level of the theatre, and 21-35 year olds can get discounted opera tickets. Tickets for everyone begin at £10.
This September, opening the 2023/24 Season at the London Coliseum, the English National Opera (ENO) presents Benjamin Britten’s searing psychological drama, Peter Grimes. David Alden’s ‘thrilling’ (Evening Standard) production returns for its second revival. Following its premiere in 2009, this production won a South Bank Sky Arts Award in the Opera category.
Among Britten’s best-known operas, Peter Grimes is the tale of an ostracised outsider turned upon by the community, set against the melodramatic and claustrophobic backdrop of a Suffolk fishing village. Peter Grimes has long been associated with the ENO; the opera received its original premiere by the ENO (then Sadler’s Wells Opera) in 1945.
This critically acclaimed staging showcases the renowned ENO Chorus and the award-winning ENO Orchestra. Alden’s production was lauded as a ‘superb company achievement’ (The Guardian) following its premiere.
‘Ever-masterly’ (The Arts Desk) Music Director of the ENO Martyn Brabbins leads the full force of the ENO Orchestra. Brabbins ‘wonderfully’ conducted ‘with bags of passion’ (The Guardian) the semi-staged concert performance of Britten’s Gloriana in the 2022/23 Season at the London Coliseum, and the award-winning production of The Rhinegold.
Gwyn Hughes Jones, ‘one of the UK’s most eloquent’ (Bachtrack) Welsh tenors, returns to the ENO and makes a role debut as Peter Grimes. Jones has performed leading roles at many of the world’s most celebrated opera houses, including the Metropolitan Opera House, Royal Opera House, and Opéra national de Paris.
Also making a long-awaited role debut is British soprano and former Harewood Artists Elizabeth Llewellyn MBE in the role of Ellen Orford. Llewellyn makes a welcome return to the ENO following her ‘superb’ (The Times) performance in Luisa Miller in 2020, and as a soloist in the BBC Two broadcast of Mozart’s Requiem in November 2020.
British bass-baritone Simon Bailey is performing the role of Balstrode. Bailey is returning to the London Coliseum stage following his ‘noble singing and depth of feeling’ (Financial Times) performing the role of Fasolt in Richard Jones’ production of The Rhinegold in the ENO’s 2022/23 Season.
One of British opera’s leading voices, the ‘electrifyingly vivid’ (The Telegraph) mezzo-soprano Christine Rice MBE sings Auntie. Rice returns to the ENO following her performance in Richard Jones’ 2023 production of The Rhinegold, and as Elizabeth I in Britten’s Gloriana (2022).
Also returning to the ENO is renowned British bass Clive Bayley singing the role of Swallow, following his performance in the award nominated production of The Cunning Little Vixen in the ENO’s 2021/22 Season. He will be joined on stage by former ENO Harewood Artist and British baritone Alex Otterburn in the role of Ned Keene who is returning to the ENO following his performance in It’s a Wonderful Life during the 2022/23 Season, and current Harewood Artist and British tenor John Findon singing the role of Bob Boles following his performances in Tosca and The Rhinegold during the 2022/23 Season.
British mezzo-soprano Anne-Marie Owens performs the role of Mrs Sedley. Returning to the ENO, Owens previously performed in the 2019 staging of Orpheus in the Underworld. She will be joined on stage by British bass David Soar singing the role of Hobson following his performance in Britten’s Gloriana during the 2022/23 Season.
Making a welcome return to the ENO following his performance in the UK premiere of Blue in 2023 is Trinidad and Tobago-born British tenor Ronald Samm, who is singing the role of Reverend Horace Adams.
Making their ENO debuts and completing the cast is Australian soprano Cleo Lee-McGowan in the role of First Niece, and Irish soprano Ava Dodd in the role of Second Niece.
Ian Rutherford is the Assistant Director, Paul Steinberg is the Set Designer, Brigitte Reiffenstuel is the Costume Designer, Adam Silverman is the Original Lighting Designer, Gary James is the Revival Lighting Designer, Maxine Braham is the Movement Director, and the Libretto is by Montagu Slater.
Peter Grimes opens on Thursday 21 September for 8 performances: Sep 21, 28, Oct 4, 6, 9, 11 at 19.00. Sep 23, 30 at 18.00.
British Sign Language Performance: Monday 9 October at 19.00.
Tickets start from £10 (plus booking fee*)
*£3.75 booking fee applies to online and telephone bookings.