UKTW - 25 years online

Details

Britten's operas often focus on the way particular worlds deal with an outsider. The outsider in Billy Budd is a young man, press-ganged into naval service on the HMS Idomitable around 1797. His story is told in an opera-length flashback by the ship's captain, Edward Fairfax Vere, who is racked by guilt over Billy's fate. Billy's optimism, good-heartedness and trusting nature wins over all but the most venal of the downtrodden crew. He's keen for promotion, but his charisma and beauty cause the evil master-at-arms, John Claggart (who resembles Iago in Shakespeare's Othello), to plot his destruction. Billy's fatal flaw is that, under pressure, he suffers from a crippling stutter. When Claggart falsely accuses him of fomenting mutiny, in front of a sceptical Vere, Billy cannot find the words to defend himself and strikes Claggart dead. At the subsequent court-martial, Vere must follow the letter of the Articles of War and Billy is condemned to death. Typically, just before his execution, Billy cries out in praise of Vere. Now a very old man, Vere concludes that Billy's blessing has, in fact, saved him. New production, sung in English.

Performers Christopher Maltman.
Author Britten. Company Welsh National Opera. Conductor Andrew Litton. Conductor Gareth Jones. Design Brian Thomson.

Billy Budd

Billy Budd (Opera or Operetta) production archive for QTIX code T817013097. Details of all Billy Budd archived productions can be found under the QTIX code: S1877

Archive Listings

15 Apr 98Grand Theatre
Swansea
Glamorgan
7 Apr 98Bristol Hippodrome
Bristol
City of Bristol
1 Apr 98Liverpool Empire Theatre
Liverpool
Merseyside
19 Mar 98New Theatre
Oxford
Oxfordshire
10 Mar 98
to
13 Mar 98
Birmingham Hippodrome
Birmingham
West Midlands
14 Feb 98
to
24 Feb 98
New Theatre
Cardiff
Glamorgan

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