Ivor Bolton | Deborah Warner | Teatro Real – Madrid

Britten : Billy Budd

800 liters of water, two sails, thirty pulleys, sixty hammocks : for the Bicentenary of the Teatro Real of Madrid, Deborah Warner coined a colossal production of Benjamin Britten’s Billy Budd. A critically-acclaimed performance, praised for its depth and intelligence, and finally available on DVD & Blu-ray!

“Oh, what have I done?” Captain Edward Fairfax Vere, former commander of the H.M.S. Indomitable asks himself with horror at the beginning of the opera, before recounting the tragic events that took place aboard his ship in 1797. The story revolves around a young model sailor, Billy Budd, and John Claggart, the unscrupulous master-at-arms obsessed and crazed by Billy’s angelic beauty; and follows the characters in their fall down to the most infernal depths of perversion and psychosis, exploring the themes of innocence, culpability, individual responsibility and justice. In this ambiguous and symbolic tale, drawn from Herman Melville’s last masterpiece, the composer Benjamin Britten, who returns for the occasion to symphonic opera and its infinite possibilities, unsettles and disturbs us by revealing the complexity and universality of human experience. Far from writing the characters as allegories of Good and Evil, the opera shows us instead the remorseless logic followed by the surge of one’s darkest desires. But in this opera dominated by masculinity, Deborah Warner goes beyond the story of violence, jealousy and hatred and chooses to focus instead on the collateral beauty produced by comradeship, friendship and forgiveness…

Baritone Jacques Imbrailo, who knows the title role perfectly, delivers a stunning rendition of the young sailor’s part, while British singers Toby Spence and Brindley Sherratt provide solid interpretations of Captain “Starry” Vere and of John Claggart. In the pit, Ivor Bolton masterfully deploys, along with the Orchestra of the Teatro Real, all the energy and power of Britten’s fifth opera. A now iconic production, coproduced by the Opera of Rome and the Royal Opera House.

Press review

« British director Deborah Warner has created what might be the Billy Budd of the next decade, an instant classic» – BACHTRACK.COM ✴✴✴✴

« The casting, mostly British, of Billy Budd was uniformly top notch, evidently fulfilling the needs and wishes of the production. » – OPERATODAY.COM

« An Outstanding New Production of Billy Budd Graces the Teatro Real Stage » – SEENANDHEARD.COM

« una eccezionale produzione.» – IL CORRIERE MUSICALE

« El Real estrena un memorable y desasosegante ‘Billy Budd’. No hay un segundo que no sea irresistiblemente teatral. Todas las piezas del montaje funcionan con una insólita precisión » – EL PAIS

«No se lo pierdan» – LA RAZON

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Britten : Billy Budd [DVD & Blu-ray]

Opera in two acts (1964)

Music : Benjamin Britten (1913-1976)
Libretto : Edward Morgan Foster & Eric Crozier, after Billy Budd by Herman Melville

Billy Budd : Jacques Imbrailo
Edward Fairfax Vere : Toby Spence
John Claggart : Brindley Sherratt
Mr. Redburn : Thomas Oliemans
Mr. Flint : David Soar
Lieutenant Ratcliffe : Torben Jürgens
Red Whiskers : Christopher Gillet
Donald : Duncan Rock

Orchestra and Chorus of the Teatro Real – Madrid
Pequeños Cantores de la ORCAM

Conducted by : Ivor Bolton

Stage direction : Deborah Warner

Sets : Michael Levine
Costumes : Chloe Obolensky
Lighting desing : Jean Kalman
Choreography : Kim Brandstrup
Chorus master : Andrés Maspero
Children chorus master : Ana Gonzalez

technical informations

HD recording : Teatro Real – Madrid | 02/2017
TV direction : Jérémie Cuvillier
Release date : 14 September 2018
Distribution : Naxos Distributio

2 DVD
Reference
: BAC154
Barcode : 3760115301542
Running time : 173 min.
Libretto : FR / ENG / GER / SPA
Subtitles : FR / ENG / GER / SPA / ITA / JAP / KOR
Image : Color, 16/9, NTSC
Sound : PCM 2.0, Dolby Digital 5.1
Region code : 0

1 BLU-RAY
Reference : BAC554
Barcode : 3760115305540
Running time : 173 min.
Libretto :
FR / ENG / GER / SPA
Subtitles :
FR / ENG / GER / SPA / ITA / JAP / KOR
Image
: Color, 16/9, Full HD
Sound : PCM 2.0, DTS HD Master audio 5.1
Region code : A, B, C

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