This video documentary produced by the Britten-Pears Foundation introduces the background to Britten's opera Billy Budd with archive recordings by the composer, and film footage of Peter Pears. It is part of a series of documentary films produced by the BPF, which are available to presenters for pre-performance events, on web sites, in foyers and within special exhibitions.
Britten's opera Billy Budd is based on a Herman Melville’s novel set on a British naval vessel in 1797, which is transformed by the composer and his librettists E.M.Forster and Eric Crozier into an opera of great musico-dramatic power and psychological subtlety.
This 12-minute video documentary introduces the background to Billy Budd's composition with radio and film recordings of Britten, Forster and Crozier discussing the genesis of the opera and early performance footage with Peter Pears as Captain Vere.
This video was produced by the Britten-Pears Foundation and appears on boosey.com with its kind permission.
Also view the BPF video on Britten's War Requiem
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