Billy Budd - full opera
Billy Budd (Britten), 2010 • 2h 52m
There’s a fine line between love and hate.
Inspired by Herman Melville’s novella, Benjamin Britten’s Billy Budd is a heart-breaking psychological study of good and evil and the many human shades of grey that lie between. Harnessing the power of a large orchestra and all-male chorus, the opera creates a vast and powerful voice for the sailors of the HMS Indomitable.
At the heart of this claustrophobic community is Billy Budd, a new recruit whose innocence, goodness and beauty attract the unwelcome attention of Master-at-arms Claggart. Conflicted and tormented by the emotions the boy stirs in him, Claggart vows to destroy him. False accusations lead to violence, tragedy and ultimately death.
Britten’s score blends lyricism and moments of startling beauty with evocative sea-shanties and sweeping orchestral textures to create one of his most moving operas.
Glyndebourne’s first ever production is directed by veteran British theatre director Michael Grandage, who makes his operatic debut with this award-winning production starring Jacques Imbrailo in the title role. Mark Elder conducts.
Recorded live at Glyndebourne Opera House, Festival 2010.
Up Next in Billy Budd (Britten), 2010
Billy Budd: explore with Alexandra
Salvation and damnation, innocence and corruption, love, hatred and a beautiful boy all collide in Benjamin Britten’s Billy Budd.
Alexandra Coghlan talks to naval historian Dr James Davey and musicologist Dr Imani Mosley to explore Britten’s evocative, ambiguous score.