The Epicurean and Opera: Sushi and “Peter Grimes”

At an inquest into the death of William Spode, apprentice to the fisherman Peter Grimes, coroner Swallow calls various witnesses, including Grimes himself, but the verdict of death in accidental circumstances does not satisfy most of the villagers, who regard Grimes as a violent criminal. Benjamin Britten wrote about his operatic masterpiece that it was “a subject very close to my heart—the struggle of the individual against the masses. The more vicious the society, the more vicious the individual.” Reviewing the Metropolitan Opera’s 2008 staging of the opera, Andrew Ross wrote: “You come face to face with the opera’s darkest elements: not just the much analyzed psychology of Grimes, who may or may not be guilty of abusing his apprentices, but also the psychology of the crowd, which lustily passes judgment on the fisherman without having heard the evidence.” Featuring some of the most powerful and evocative music ever written, Peter Grimes is an essential modern opera.

Join co-hosts Daniel Balsam and Chris Stacey for an evening of food, operatic highlights, and discussion. To celebrate the opera’s seaside setting we suggest sushi as the evening’s culinary choice. Dan and Chris selected Juno Sushi Chicago as their takeout choice for the event. After introductory remarks about the selected cuisine and opera, we watch roughly 30 minutes of clips from the opera and eat. Afterward, we’ll discuss the opera and our evening’s dining experiences.

Agenda for Peter Grimes and Sushi

Introductory Remarks

Welcome and Toast

Participant Introductions

Brief comments on Chicago’s Sushi Food Scene

Introductory remarks on Peter Grimes

Watch and Eat: Clips from the The Met’s Version of Peter Grimes. Anthony Dean Griffey creates a haunting portrait of the outcast fisherman who struggles under the burden of presumed guilt. This chilling production by Tony Award-winning director John Doyle also features the superb Patricia Racette as the sympathetic Ellen Orford and the Met chorus in a truly hair-raising performance as the oppressively judgmental fishing village.

Met Opera On Demand:

Discuss: Group discussion about the food we've eaten and the opera.

Date: Thursday, July 1, 2021

Time: 6:30 PM CST

Cost: Free

Location: Zoom Video Conference

July 01, 2021 at 6:30pm - 9pm

Zoom Video Conference

Chicago, IL
United States

Chris Stacey


Will you come?