Opera & Dance594 entries
ENO - Billy Budd
Opens: 18/06/2012 Closes: 08/07/2012 ENO, LondonWith the inclusion of a libretto by E M Forster, assertions of homoeroticism are perhaps not too far off the mark for Benjamin Britten's all-male opera. Based on Herman Mellville's post-Moby Dick novella, Billy Budd continues the maritime theme with a battle of good and evil onboard HMS Bellipotent. Kim Begley plays the ship's captain, on the horns of a moral dilemma. For more information visit: http://www.eno.org/see-whats-on/productions/production-page.php?&itemid=1884 Buy: http://www.eno.org/see-whats-on/productions/production-page.php?&itemid=1884#book
The Arts Desk“Broken-backed and unrewarding production...” The one unmitigated good thing is the conductor, driving Britten's great score like a master and commander on his ship - indeed, like the Vere we should be seeing on stage...
The Observer“An oppressive and disconcerting staging...” In the authoritative hands of conductor Edward Gardner, Britten's score flares, sparks and fractures with white heat and luminescence. The ENO orchestra is on blazing form...
Financial Times“The ambiguities come at a cost...” David Alden’s staging is shrouded in interpretative fog – an extension of the mist that prevents HMS Indomitable from engaging with “the Frenchie” and the moral fog that envelops Vere’s decision-making...
The Telegraph“Bleakly homoerotic, morally ambivalent and musically electrifying...” Sumptuous, tumultuous playing from the orchestra under Edward Gardner did the opera’s scale and depth more justice: the wind and brass shone particularly bright, and the interludes and climaxes kicked up a terrific storm...
Guardian“The musical quality is unmistakable...” None of the characters emerge well from this reading, not even Benedict Nelson's Billy, who is never presented as the dominating heroic figure on which the story is predicated, though he brings real pathos to his final scene...
Whatsonstage.com“Lifeless and dreary take on Britten’s sea-faring opera...” Benedict Nelson's unsuitability to the part is exacerbated by casting the physically and vocally imposing Duncan Rock as Donald, who gives the most rounded performance of the evening...
The Independent“A thrilling company achievement. World class...” Edward Gardner inspires his fantastic chorus and orchestra to great heights, the surge and swell of Britten’s score as surely caught as its queasy undertow. Bright young stars emerge from the ensemble...
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- Opera & Dance