In pictures: Britten's Peter Grimes on Aldeburgh beach
The first ever beach production of Britten's opera Peter Grimes is staged as part of a Suffolk festival founded by the composer.
Aldeburgh Music commemorated the centenary year of the birth of composer Benjamin Britten, which included staging his opera Peter Grimes on the beach at Aldeburgh. The dress rehearsal on Saturday, 15 June in front of an invited audience featured a dramatic sunset.
The set and seating area was set-up on the shingle beach - the first time Aldeburgh Music has staged an opera on the beach. Peter Grimes was first performed at Sadler's Wells Theatre in London in 1945.
The opera is set in 'The Borough' which is based on Aldeburgh and the neighbouring fishing village of Slaughden, which was lost to coastal erosion.
It tells the story of Peter Grimes, a fisherman who takes on a new apprentice, despite many villagers suspecting he was responsible for the death of his previous apprentice. Grimes is played by Alan Oke.
The lawyer Swallow (Henry Waddington) questions Grimes at the inquest into the death of his first apprentice. The pub landlady's nieces are played by Lexi Hutton and Charmian Bedford.
The retired sea captain Balstrode advises Grimes to leave the village. The music for the opera on the beach was recorded during indoor performances at Snape Maltings, but the singing is live.
On Monday, the audience settled down on the beach to watch the performance under grey skies. A total of 5,000 people will watch the sell-out opera unfold over three nights - Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
The weather stayed fair for Monday's performance, with opera-goers saying the North Sea wind and the salt in the air added to the experience.
- Benjamin Britten's archive and restored studio opened
- Britten's War Requiem inspires Maggi Hambling exhibition
- Benjamin Britten's Red House grand piano reinstated
- Benjamin Britten blue plaque unveiled on Lowestoft home
- Benjamin Britten's walks retraced for Aldeburgh event
- BBC to mark Britten centenary with year of programmes
- Maggi Hambling and the North Sea