In August I was back in Dartington in Devon, UK for more Benjamin Britten - this time his opera Peter Grimes. It was really fun taking part in the ‘Singing Britten Course’ as a Britten-Pears Young Artist earlier in the year at Aldeburgh, so I was feeling very geared up to work on one of his operas.
I played the role of 2nd Niece in Britten’s first (and in my opinion best) Opera ‘Peter Grimes’. Set in a small fishing community on the English coast, this astounding opera is an utterly absorbing, emotionally compelling experience; it caused a sensation at its premiere in 1945. Britten’s atmospheric music evokes the power and cruelty of the sea, vividly portraying the human drama unfolding around the outsider Peter Grimes.
Performances were August 24th, 26th, 7:45pm in the Dartington Great Hall
Paul Nilon played the title role breathtakingly well with his beautiful lyric, bel canto voice. It was a real honour to share the stage with such a talented cast. There were several moments on stage when the music made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. And of course the orchestra, lead by Sian Edwards, were phenomenal. The sea interludes between each of the segments were absolutely breath-taking.
Dartington is such a heavenly place to work and create art. The gardens are Idyllic and their is something very healing about the energy there. I really hope to perform there again some time.
Jennifer Coleman is a soprano who works as a classical singer and vocal coach. Available for performances across the UK and internationally.