Peter Grimes

Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014 — as part of “A Pointe of Chorus”
ACANSA Arts Festival, Wildwood Park for the Arts

Thursday, Oct. 16 and Friday, Oct. 17, 2014 — as part of “Danse Melange”
Albert Pike Memorial Temple Auditorium, 712 Scott St., Little Rock

Watch Praeclara’s Peter Grimes on YouTube — run time 43:47 (videography courtesy of Kevin Quinn)

Music by Benjamin Britten, libretto by Montagu Slater

Peter Grimes, a rough and inscrutable English fisherman, is placed under investigation after his boy apprentice dies unexpectedly at sea. Throughout the inquest, Grimes is subject to the scrutiny and gossip of his fellow villagers, all of whom believe the volatile fisherman guilty of murder. When the local magistrate rules the boy’s death an accident, much to the villagers’ dismay, Grimes outrages them further by demanding that he be allowed to take a new apprentice. Only Ellen, Peter’s beloved, believes his protests of innocence and ventures to locate another workhouse boy to be given into his care. The widowed schoolteacher pins her hopes on helping Peter’s business succeed, enabling him to marry her at last and settle into a calm domestic life.

A dark and morally ambiguous tale, Peter Grimes has been recognized as a masterwork of 20th-century English opera since its debut in 1945. Through the creative vision of artistic director Bevan Keating and producer Bruce Rentz and the innovative choreography of Rebecca Stalcup, this production reinterprets Peter Grimes for ballet, set to a condensed 45-minute version of Benjamin Britten’s original score. Each of the main characters is represented by both a dancer and a singer, blending balletic and operatic performances on the same stage. The power of nature and the warring forces within Peter’s own psyche are simultaneously expressed by two characters unique to this production: the sea goddesses Calm and Storm.


Peter Grimes — danced by Matthew Morley, sung by Luke Angelo

Ellen Orford — danced by Emily Karnes, sung by Kira Keating (Sept. 28) and Ekaterina Kotcherguina (Oct. 16 and 17)

Captain Balstrode — danced by Dennis Glasscock, sung by Kevin Ezell

Lawyer Swallow — danced by Trent Montgomery, sung by Ethan Ezell

Storm, a sea goddess — danced by Rachel Powell

Calm, a sea goddess — danced by Paula Mallory

Auntie — danced by Julia Aronson

The cast members of Peter Grimes dance in the opening sceneFirst Apprentice — Penn Snyder

Second Apprentice — Todd Belin

Town Assembly — Laura Craig, Lauren Estes, Grace Pitts, Catherine Caldwell, Elizabeth Dawson, Mary Claire Fox, Caroline Caldwell, Victoria Fender, Grace Rew, Melanie Hanna, Shea Williamson, Heather McPherson, Nina Spinner, Kelly Singer, and Satia Spencer

Ocean Dancers — Laura Craig, Catherine Caldwell, Elizabeth Dawson, Mary Claire Fox, Caroline Caldwell, Georgia Thomas, Victoria Fender, Louisa Utley, Grace Rew, Jane Landrum, Anna Gaydos, Holland Stalcup, Bella Marbaise, and Addison Pledger

Photo credit: Jon Marbaise

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