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Title: A critical edition, with introduction and commentary, of the libretto texts of Montagu Slater and Benjamin Britten's Peter Grimes
Author: Greenhalgh, Michael John
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2013
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A definitive text of the libretto of Benjamin Britten's opera Peter Grimes is here presented. The process by which it was created is revealed in detail. All the extant versions are collated and significant differences between them displayed. For the first time the scenarios written by Britten and his partner Peter Pears and the first surviving draft versions of scenes by the librettist Montagu Slater are published in full. Additions to the draft and final libretto texts and revisions throughout this process by Slater, Britten, producer Eric Crozier and, in the final scene, poet Ronald Duncan, are clarified and a critique provided. Marked differences in stage directions between the libretto texts and music scores are shown and versions selected or created which offer the best indicative detail for performance practice. The edited text is similarly enriched by the inclusion of performance indicators from various sources added by Britten, Pears and the work's first conductor, Reginald Goodall. The edition is introduced by three 'Perspectives' sections which consider (1) Britten's relationship with Slater and working practice with librettists; (2) the relationship of the work to its original source, George Crabbe's poem The Borough, the difference in the portrait and treatment of the character Peter Grimes and the reasons for the difference; and (3) the particular contribution and features of Slater's writing. Thereafter follow an account of the rationale, principles and practice of the edition and introductions to every scene in which the use of source material, the evolution of the text, the plot development and performance issues of the scene, the presentation of characters and the set are delineated, the latter with reference to photographs of the original set hitherto unpublished.
Supervisor: Cunningham, Valentine Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Art ; Dramatic arts ; English Language and Literature ; English and Old English literature ; Music ; 20th Century music ; Opera ; Benjamin Britten ; Montagu Slater ; George Crabbe ; Peter Grimes