Mariusz Treliński’s production of Peter Grimes under Michał Klauza premiered at the Polish National Opera on 23 June 2023 to a huge success.
The production starts streaming this Friday, 28 July, at 7 p.m. CET on Operavision.eu and ill be available until 28 January 2024.
Here are some of the critical reactions to the premiere:
‘If you are going to the Polish National Opera to see Benjamin Britten’s Peter Grimes, you are acting on your own responsibility: it is not going to be a nice and easy night (…),’ wrote Anna S. Dębowska in Gazeta Wyborcza, adding: ‘Boris Kudlička’s refined and meticulously designed sets are the production’s a strong asset. Speaking of which, this is the last collaboration from the stage director/designer duo that goes back to 1999.’
Jacek Marczyński (Rzeczpospolita) focused on the the msuic: ‘From the very first bars, Britten’s music is simply arresting, especially because Michał Klauza delivers it with an almost mathematical precision and a feel for internal tensions. The conductor deserves all the more credit since Britten does not use a huge sound mass that could cover up some imperfections. Instead, the composer favours small instrumental groupings, mixes religious psalms with frivolous shanties, and melodious ariosos with genre scenes, all of which which Michał Klauza manages to combine into a dynamic whole. (…) The gloomy Peter Grimes may not be the best fit for a hot summer night but it is a must-see for sure.’
Dorota Szwarcman (Blogi Polityki) was of a similar opinion: ‘The chorus did a wonderful job, too, as did most of the rather long lineup of soloists. Peter Wedd is shattering in the title role, primarily because he manage to bring out the character’s ordinariness, despite Grimes being the epitome of Otherness in this story. Although singular, he is, however, also a part of the community – he would not fit anywhere else, the village is where he is from. Vocally, it was not always beautiful, but that was probably not the intention – the intention was for the singing to be expressive. Cornelia Beskow as Ellen Orford sings in a powerful voice that verges on harshness at times. As for the men, special mentions go to Krzysztof Szumański (Balstrode), Mateusz Zajdel (Bob Boles), Aleksander Kunach (Rev. Horace Adams), and Lukas Jakobski (Hobson).’