Peter Grimes @ the Met

God, I loved this, and Christ I thought I would hate it. I went in thinking "Melville" for some reason, with a heavy helping of "The Shipping News" on top and don't ask me where my brain gets its information backed up by zero advance research. Next I'll be telling myself "The Marriage of Figaro" is based on candy bars and "Rigoletto" is all about leprechauns.

Anthony Dean Griffey was extraordinary, both vocally and actorly—so gruff, so tender, such hope leveled by such self-loathing ("Who can turn the skies back, and begin again?")—and Patricia Racette was everything I was told she would be (all goods). And the chorus! And the orchestra! And the music! A complete effort, amazing all.

Once again though I don't get where people are so troubled by the set. This did what it needed to do: invoke a small, ingrown community overcome by mob mentality. The facade bears down, yes? There's no room to move and hardly any to breathe. The doors and windows open like eyes, everybody watches everything. The walls may part but they always roll in again, like the wind, like a wave—constant, inescapable—nowhere to go except out to sea. Or am I misreading things? That happens.