John Graham-Hall on working with Co-Opera Co. on Peter Grimes for our 2015 Summer Development programme

"I’m hugely excited to be a part of this project. Not only do I get the chance to perform Grimes again, I can also share my passion for this opera with a whole new generation of singers."
 

Only two weeks left before the application deadline date for places on this Summer Development Programme. Full details of the programme as well as information about funding your place are on our new-look website.

Read more of John Graham-Hall's plans for working with us below:

"I'm hugely excited that Kate Flowers has asked me to be a part of this project. Not only do I get the chance to perform Grimes again, I can also share my passion for this opera with a whole new generation of singers, because I'm going to be there as mentor to the whole cast.

During the rehearsals every single performer will learn how to bring to life the raw emotions and petty squabbles of English village life, and will discover how apparently "normal" folk can become a terrifying lynch-mob, bent on destroying one individual who doesn't conform to their ideas of decency and morality.

But above all, everyone involved will experience the unparalleled thrill of performing in what I believe to be one of the greatest operas ever written.

I first sang in a production of Peter Grimes in 1992, when I sang Bob Boles in Sir Trevor Nunn's magnificent, hyper-realistic production at Glyndebourne. Since then I've been lucky enough to revisit this wonderful opera time after time, and finally sang the title role for the first time in a staged production in 2012, at La Scala, Milan, in Richard Jones's blistering 1970's setting.

For me the works of Benjamin Britten are what opera is all about. The drama and the music are perfectly integrated, so each becomes a part of the other. For a singing actor, which is what all opera singers by definition must be, I don't think there's any excitement greater than performing Britten. Love, hate, anger, beauty, filth, depression, ecstasy - you go through them all.

And Peter Grimes is the Daddy of all his operas.

Holed up in the USA during World War Two, desperately missing home but knowing that he was reviled there because, according to the Great British Public, he had cut and run instead of staying at home to fight. With a huge point to prove, Britten set about composing the most thrilling music of his life. None of his later operas quite matches the visceral excitement of this tale of an outsider, excluded by his own people, and driven by desperation to the very limits of human endurance."