Jonas Kaufmann: Peter Grimes is a sadly misunderstood manNews
From an interview with BR in Munich, where Kaufmann is reprising his latest title role:
I feel so sorry for him. I don’t think he’s a real killer. Today you would say: autistic or Asperger’s or whatever. Modern expressions for the fact that in this place where he is arrested, he is simply being crushed by the many, many intrigues that are being spun. And of course it’s tragic that the first boy dies of thirst in a storm because they somehow drift too far and can’t find their way home.
But we also have to put this in the context of how it was, so to speak, back then: Children from the orphanage were kept as cheap slaves for centuries. That is an unfortunate fact. Whether they worked in the mines because they were nice and small and could dig their holes there – and that was no different here in Bavaria – or whether they lived on the coast and then helped the fishermen. And Grimes says himself: I can’t afford it. I can’t afford a second fisherman, an adult, to take with me, that’s impossible. It can only be a child who has to work 24 hours a day for board and lodging, so to speak, and is available. That is very tragic and of course reprehensible from today’s perspective. But you can’t really blame Grimes for that….
Read on here.
As a father of four children, Kaufmann takes a thoughtful approach to a character who can neither apologise nor explain.