Among a number of pleasures of the Met's coming season, what caught my eye immediately is the new production of Britten's Peter Grimes, directed by John Doyle (of Sweeney Todd and Company). A small model of the set is compelling: Doyle and set designer Scott Pask were inspired by the tall, thin huts used to dry fishing nets in Doyle's home of Hastings, England, and from these created dark, towering wooden walls that close in as the opera progresses and Grimes realizes he is trapped.
The costumes, by designer Ann Hould-Ward, also look intriguing: late 19th-century fishing gear, but incorporating images of nets and birds. The cast includes Neil Shicoff and Anthony Dean Griffey taking turns in the title role, with Patricia Racette as Ellen Orford and Anthony Michaels-Moore as Balstrode. Donald Runnicles will conduct.
[Above: Anthony Dean Griffey in the title role of Britten's Peter Grimes. Photo: Nick Heavican/Metropolitan Opera; background image (Hastings, England): Aitken Jolly]