"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.