© 2023 WOSU Public Media
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Classical 101

"Mad" About Peter Grimes

In opera it's more often the case that women, rather than men, go mad. The Lucias, Salomes and Ophelias in on the singing stage far outweigh their insane male counterparts. Benjamin Britten gave the title character of Peter Grimes the rare and dubious opportunity to go insane for all to see and hear. And Peter Grimes' madness isn't the temporary insanity some female opera characters feign in order to pull off clever plot twists. Peter Grimes' madness is the blood-freezing insanity of a man who, tragically, lives into his community's fallacious and defamatory gossip about him. In Peter Grimes is a self-fulfilling prophecy run horribly amok. In the video above, watch tenor Jon Vickers in a stunning performance of the bone-chilling mad scene of Britten's Peter Grimes in the 1981 production of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

Jennifer Hambrick unites her extensive backgrounds in the arts and media and her deep roots in Columbus to bring inspiring music to central Ohio as Classical 101’s midday host. Jennifer performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago before earning a Ph.D. in musicology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.