Deborah Warner's BILLY BUDD Arrives At The Royal Opera House
The Royal Opera presents a new production of Britten's Billy Budd, nearly 70 years after its Covent Garden premiere in 1951, and almost two decades since the Company's last performances of the work. Acclaimed British director Deborah Warner returns to The Royal Opera for the first time since directing Britten's The Turn of the Screw in 2002. She brings this production to The Royal Opera following its successful stagings by co-producers Teatro Real, Madrid, and Rome Opera.
The story of Billy Budd charts the fortunes of the crew of HMS Indomitable, as remembered years later by the ship's now elderly commander Captain Vere. When new recruit Billy Budd arrives, his kind heart and noble nature makes him instantly popular with the crew. However, before long he becomes the focus of the Master-of-Arms John Claggart's obsession and hatred, leading to a dramatic confrontation which has devastating consequences.
Deborah Warner's new production of Britten's powerful opera features set, costume and lighting designs by Michael Levine, Chloé Obolensky and Jean Kalman respectively, as well as choreography by Kim Brandstrup.
This all-male opera features a strong cast of predominantly British singers, including tenor Toby Spence as Captain Vere and bass Brindley Sherratt as John Claggart. They appear alongside former Jette Parker Young Artist and South African baritone Jacques Imbrailo, who sings the title role, which he has performed to great acclaim at Glyndebourne Festival, Teatro Real, Madrid, Dutch National Opera and Norwegian National Opera. British conductor and Music Director of Teatro Real Ivor Bolton returns to the Company to conduct all performances.
Billy Budd opens at the Royal Opera House on 23 April 2019, with subsequent performances on 29 April and 7 and 10 May 2019. There will also be a Young ROH performance of Billy Budd on 2 May 2019, with tickets only available to Young ROH members.
Photograph by Yasuko Kageyama