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COMPOSITORES PRESENTADOS

BAM Presents Britten’s Billy Budd

(February 2014)

Benjamin Britten’s seafaring tale arrives in New York

New York’s Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) has a penchant for opera. Continuing its mission to present the most adventurous and captivating productions, BAM begins February in a big way with Benjamin Britten’s Billy Budd. Featuring a libretto by E. M. Forster and Eric Crozier, adapted from the story by Herman Melville, Billy Budd tells a tale of high seas drama—the accusation of mutiny and death of a crewmember affecting the habitat of life aboard the HMS Indomitable. These performances, running February 7–13, are a part of the Britten 100 celebrations.

The story follows Billy, a new crewmember aboard the HMS Indomitable. Although he wins the affection of some, there are those who see him has a revolutionary, and susceptible to inciting distress among the crew. After being accused of this by Claggart, the Master-at-Arms, Billy strikes and kills the man, leading to his drumhead court martial. As the punishment for striking a superior officer is death, Billy has no choice but to face a noose. Even though there are some who feel his punishment is inappropriate in this circumstance, he is ultimately put to death. Although Billy is the opera’s eponymous hero, the real focus of the work is the moral dilemma facing Captain Vere who, confronted with an agonizing decision between saving Billy and his sense of duty as the ship’s captain, is at the center of the drama.

BAM’s Billy Budd features the Glyndebourne Festival Opera, London Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Glyndebourne Chorus conducted by Sir Mark Elder and directed by Michael Grandage.

For tickets and more information about this production, click here.
To watch a behind-the-scenes video of Glyndebourne’s 2010 production, click here.

The opera, which premiered at Covent Garden, was well received in its original four-act version. In 1960, it was restructured into a work composed of a prologue, two acts, and an epilogue. Billy Budd premiered at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, on December 1, 1951. It was first performed at Glyndebourne on May 20, 2010. This celebrated production was part of Glyndebourne Festival Opera’s 2013 Britten Centennial celebration. Billy Budd employs the largest orchestra of any Britten opera, capable of unleashing an elemental power when the moment demands it, but in general, the orchestration favors the more sharply etched, transparent textures developed in Britten’s chamber operas.

Cast:


MARK PADMORE: Captain Vere
MICHAEL WALLACE: First Mate
BENJAMIN CAHN: Second Mate
DAVID SOAR: Mr. Flint
RICHARD MOSLEY-EVANS: Bosun
JOHN MOORE: Donald
JEFFREY LLOYD-ROBERTS: Maintop
PETER GIJSBERTSEN: The Novice
COLIN JUDSON: Squeak
STEPHEN GADD: Mr. Redburn
DARREN JEFFERY: Lieutenant Ratcliffe
BRINDLEY SHERRATT: Claggart
DANIEL NORMAN: Red Whiskers
BRENDAN COLLINS: Arthur Jones
JACQUES IMBRAILO: Billy Budd
DUNCAN ROCK: The Novice’s Friend
JEREMY WHITE: Dansker
CHARLIE GILL: Cabin Boy
SEBASTIAN DAVIES: Midshipmen
TOM FOREMAN
WILLIAM GARDNER
QUENTIN ZACH MARTINS
WILL ROBERTS





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