Did you know that Britten’s opera Peter Grimes is one of Bill Lockwood’s favorites? As McCarter’s Special Programming Director (a/k/a impresario), Bill has been curating McCarter’s music and dance programs for over 50 years and is quite an opera aficionado as well. Bill wrote a Special Note explaining why he loves Peter Grimes –
I was delighted to learn that Richard Tang Yuk had chosen Britten’s Peter Grimes as the centerpiece opera presentation for this summer’s Princeton Festival, because it has always been one of my favorites—certainly in my top ten, maybe even top five; one that I see every chance I get. This is a courageous and ambitious undertaking, since it’s not an easy work to stage or sing. Its productions are infrequent, which is all the more reason for you to experience a 20th century operatic masterpiece up close at McCarter. Along with Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress and the operas of Richard Strauss and Alban Berg, Peter Grimes has cemented a place in the operatic pantheon of this century, and every production is a cause for celebration. Britten wrote other operas to be sure, most notably Death in Venice and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, but Grimes will always rank as his signature work in this genre, and it’s one that every serious operagoer should experience.