Peter Grimes

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Description:
Peter Grimes is an opera by Benjamin Britten, with a libretto adapted by Montagu Slater from the Peter Grimes section of George Crabbe's poem The Borough. The "borough" of the opera is a fictional village which shares some similarities with Crabbe's, and later Britten's, own home Aldeburgh, on England's east coast, around 1830.

It was first performed at Sadler's Wells in London on 7 June 1945, conducted by Reginald Goodall and was the first of Britten's operas to be a critical and popular success. It is still widely performed, both in the UK and internationally, and is considered part of the standard repertoire. In addition, the Four Sea Interludes were published separately (as op. 33a) and are frequently performed as an orchestral suite. The Passacaglia was also published separately (as op. 33b), and is also often performed, either together with the Sea Interludes or by itself.

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History

In 1941, shortly after the premier performance of his opera Paul Bunyan, Britten and his partner Peter Pears went to stay at Escondido, California. There they read the poem by Crabbe and were struck by it. Britten, being a native of Suffolk, strongly identified with the tragic story of the Aldeburgh fisherman Peter Grimes. He later said: "In a flash I realised two things: that I must write an opera, and where I belonged."

Britten returned to England in April, 1942. Soon after his return, he asked Montagu Slater...
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