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....

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