Peter Grimes

A sea that is both beautiful and terrifying, that truly reflects the storms of the human soul and rules the lives of those who are connected to it. People like the fisherman Peter Grimes, who tries in vain to change his life but is constantly rejected by the other inhabitants of his fishing village due to his character. The situation is exacerbated by the death of his apprentice, which raises a number of questions. Was it really an accident or was Grimes directly involved? Most people in Borough don’t believe Grimes is innocent, and so the unfortunate death of another apprentice leads inevitably to tragedy. The English poet George Crabbe and the composer Benjamin Britten loved the sea. Both grew up on the Suffolk coast, and the life stories of people from a fishing settlement inspired Crabbe to create the collection of poems from which Britten drew the story of his first opera, Peter Grimes. He not only captured the spirit of the town and its diverse community but also — and above all — his beloved sea, to which the main character of Peter Grimes is strongly tied. He depicted it through four beautiful orchestral interludes that capture the rising of the sun, or the reflection of moonlight on the surface of the water.
David Radok, one of the best Czech opera directors, has created the perfect opera spectacle with his new production of Britten’s Peter Grimes, a captivating production about a crowd that mercilessly drives away anyone different. Through a simple set design, with an almost empty stage, several mobile backdrops and projections that evoke the sea, he builds situations based on fine and nuanced acting from both the soloists and the entire ensemble, in which the tension gradually escalates. 

English, German, Czech subtitles available

Audience: adult, children 15+

About the company

The National Theatre Brno’s Janáček Opera is one of the leading opera houses in Central Europe, with a tradition that dates back to the 1880s. The opera ensemble has premiered many significant productions throughout its existence, including the world or Czechoslovak premieres of works by 
L. Janáček, A. Berg, B. Martinů, and D. Shostakovich, among others. Janáček Opera also cooperates with distinguished theatres abroad. Coproductions include Jenůfa by L. Janáček in co-production with the State Opera Vienna in 2004; Greek Passion by B. Martinů with the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in 2005; The Makropulos Case by L. Janáček; Bluebeard Castle/ Expectation and Three Fragments from Juliette / Human Voice with Goteborg Operan; and Händel’s Alcina with Royal Opéra de Versailles and Theatre de Caen. Collaborations with directors and conductors include David Pountney, Sir Charles Mackerras, Robert Carsen, Pamela Howard, David Radok, Tomáš Hanus and Jakub Hrůša. Collaborations with outstanding artists include: Peter Straka, Anja Silja, Štefan Margita, Magnus Vigilius, Aleš Briscein, Maida Hundeling, Eva Urbanová, Katarina Karnéus, Annalena Persson, Karita Mattila, Karin Gauvin, Joachim Bäckström and many others. Audiences are offered a wide repertoire of opera literature of the 18th and 19th centuries (i.e., Aida, La Traviata, La Gioconda, Le comte Ory, Carmen, Madama Butterfly, Turandot, Tosca, Rusalka, The Bartered Bride, The Kate and the Devil, Faust, Die Rosenkavalier), as well as 20th-century productions (i.e., The Miracles of Mary, Jenufa, Katya Kabanova, The Excursion of Mr. Brouček to the Moon, The Marriage, The Cunning Little Vixen, Powder Her Face, L’amour de loin, Epic of  Gilgamesh, Monument, Peter Grimes). Unlimited by the borders of the Czech Republic, the opera ensemble’s activities span Europe (i.e., Austria, Netherlands, Germany, Spain and Italy), the Middle East (Royal Opera House Muscat) and Asia. With a special focus on Czech music, the 2017 Hong Kong Arts Festival and Shanghai China International Arts Festival welcomed more than 180 musicians and singers from the Janáček Opera of the National Theatre Brno, together with world-class soloists, in an extraordinary musical celebration featuring Janáček’s The Makropulos Case.


Theatre / company

Janáček Opera of the National Theatre Brno / Janáčkova opera Národní divadlo Brno

Czech title

Peter Grimes


Benjamin Britten


David Radok


Benjamin Britten


Patricie Částková

Stage design

David Radok

Costume design

Zuzana Ježková

Lighting design

Přemysl Janda

Length of the performance

177 minutes

Stage area


Number of travelling persons



English , Subtitles available


Adult , Children


Divadelní noviny Production of the Year 2021


Jiří Heřman