Grimes loved the local schoolteacher who befriended him and tried to soften his grim character but to no avail. The villagers rebelled against his decision to get another apprentice boy from the orphanage despite the schoolteacher trying to ensure the boy was not harmed. One stormy night the apprentice slipped to his death while climbing down the cliff to Grimes’ boat and Grimes took the body and disposed of it in the sea. A terrible clash occurred when villagers confronted him with where the missing apprentice had got to. Grimes distraught with anger and grief took his boat out to sea and sank it thus drowning himself.
Most of us found the opera “interesting” as a modern opera but missed the lush orchestral music and arias of the great C19th operas, despite the beautiful singing and staging of this version. Britten’s music was reminiscent of the sea and storms and contained the lovely orchestral interludes that are often played by themselves as a suite of Four Sea Interludes.