Music: Fire in the Belly

When Peter Grimes, Benjamin Britten's dour saga of a doomed fisherman, was first produced at the Metropolitan Opera in 1948, one patron was so outraged that he spat through the box-office window. Badly sung, unimaginatively staged, poorly conducted, the opera sank with barely a ripple.

Last week the Met revived Peter Grimes, and this time it was smooth sailing. Tenor Jon Vickers sang the title role with complete conviction; Director Tyrone Guthrie's staging was fittingly roughhewn and seafaring. But for most of the audience, the true center of interest was the Met debut of British Conductor Colin Davis....

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!