Magazine article Opera Canada

Billy Budd

Magazine article Opera Canada

Billy Budd

Article excerpt

Britten

Opus Arte: OA1051 D

This highly lauded production of Benjamin Britten's emotionally charged opera was made at the 2010 Glyndcbournc Festival. The new production, which garnered universal praise from British and foreign press, was the festival's first of Britten's masterpiece. The multilayered study of good and evil, based upon Herman Melville's novella, Billy Budd, Foretopman, takes place in 1797 during the French Revolutionary Wars and is set aboard the HMS Indomitable, a British man-of-war. English theatre director Michael Crandage, here making his opera debut, stages this dark, claustrophobic production tautly Christopher Oram's versatile set, which he describes as part "belly of a whale," and Paule Constable's atmospheric lighting add appreciably to the production's success.

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The all-male ensemble, under the assured leadership of conductor Sir Mark Elder, features a uniform it not brilliant cast. The young South African baritone. Jacques Imbrailo, making both his role and house debuts, scores a resounding success in the title role. His open and easy manner, his naivete and innocence, his boyish, winning smile and his goodness of spirit all make him an ideal protagonist. …

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