Jonas Kaufmann and Lise Davidsen are ready for Peter Grimes

Jonas Kaufmann and Lise Davidsen are ready for Peter Grimes


norman lebrecht

November 10, 2021

The tenor’s website confirms he will spend January and February in Vienna as Benjamin Britten’s tortured fisherman.#

Lise Davidsen sings Ellen Orford.

Simone Young conducts.


To die for?


  • Gustavo says:

    I find Britten dull. Can’t connect.

    OK the 4C-interludes are nice show music – but otherwise this opera leaves no lasting impression.

  • David A. Boxwell says:

    If his new Liszt album is anything to go by, this Peter Grimes will be suffering from catarrh.

  • Jan Kaznowski says:

    Great ! Meanwhile an amusing comment on this same opera by tenor Jose Cura

    ” I don’t sing in English either, although one day I hope I have the courage for Peter Grimes: a fantastic piece but, my God, terrifying. I look at the score and I piss my pants it’s so hard.”

  • RW2013 says:

    Is that the opera where he sings about “a one-whore’s open sleigh”?

  • Tiredofitall says:

    “Lise Davidsen sings Ellen Orford.”

    Thanks for the clarification…otherwise we would have thought she’d take on Auntie…

  • Chris Ponto says:

    When did the two lead roles in Grimes land into heroic/dramatic territory? Did Vickers start this?

    • Maurice says:

      Sorry, I accidentally voted Chris Ponto’s comment down instead of up. Good, interesting question, especially as I heard Vickers as Grimes at CG in the’70s.

    • MWnyc says:

      Yes, Vickers started it. Britten himself was not a fan, though more than enough other people though it worked.

      • Joel Kemelhor says:

        We heard Jon Vickers as Grimes at the Metropolitan Opera in the 1970’s. It more than “worked.” His singing was spellbinding, with the strongest stage presence of any tenor I’ve seen. Those qualities also made his Florestan in FIDELIO remarkable.

    • Nik says:

      The ROH is casting Allan Clayton this season.

  • Pauln52 says:

    Could be ….it’s as much an acting role as a vocal one…but can he bring both as powerfully as Vickers? Perhaps no one can. And Pears, the original muse, was no slouch either.

  • Akutagawa says:

    Please God no. The last person I want to hear as Grimes is a knödeling Bavarian semi-baritone. Lise Daviden might be good though.

  • Dr Huw says:

    And don’t forget one B Terfel as Balstrode in the same cast, also in the exciting new ROH production a little later.

  • Una says:

    A wonderful pairing for such a wonderfully moving opera. Wish them so well.

  • Siegfried says:

    Jon Vickers was phenomenal but London (ENO) and elsewhere have been lucky enough to have both Philip Langridge and Stuart Skelton; very different singers but, like Vickers, providing compelling portrayals.

  • Ben says:

    Why can’t the Vienna State Opera show its damn cast lists? Who is the Auntie? Who sings Sedley? Production opens in weeks!

  • Imbrod says:

    Anthony Dean Griffey is stunningly good as Grimes.

  • Paul Capon says:

    As the brooding fishermen, I think he will do very well. Hope he regularly sings this role though.

  • Michael P McGrath says:

    Are vee sure vee vant a Tscherman-accented Peter Grimes?? (Ja, ja, I know… trite.)
    And Simone Young conducting? What shall we expect?

  • David G says:

    I have tix for Grimes in Venice. Ugh. That’s just about the last opera I had hoped to see at Fenice. It’s part of an opera tour. I dreamt of seeing Verdi or Puccini in Italy. But at least I’m seeing Gioconda at Scala, and Nabucco at Verona. I saw Vickers in Grimes. Fell asleep. Sorry folks, call me whatever names you want, but I thought it was beyond dull.

  • Ricard G. says:

    Gregory Kunde did a great Peter Grimes In Spain. Goosebumps!!

  • JOHN DAWSON says:

    You gotta be kidding me!!!! There´s only ONE PETER GRIMES and that is JON VICKERS, my fellow Canadian. He must be tossing and turning in his grave if he sees how things have got out of hand these days!!!!

  • Bloom says:

    The main character in this is the chorus. The whole fishermen community. It is an unapologetic portrayal of a mob as devastating as the sea itself. Masterful opera!