Billy begs Vere to save him, and the officers appeal to him for guidance, but Vere remains silent and accepts their verdict. In 1960, Britten revised the score into a two-act version, in preparation for a BBC broadcast. 76 mins. Britten later revised the work into a two-act opera, with a prologue and an epilogue. World Premiere: London, Royal Opera House, 1951 (original four-act version)/1964 (revised version)An adaptation of Herman Melville’s novella, Billy Budd is one of the most gripping and successful operas of the 20th century. The motivations of the lead characters are compelling on a variety of levels—from the clinically psychological to the abstractly philosophical—and Britten’s score masterfully pulls together all the multiple strands, resulting in an opera that is as theatrically convincing as it is intellectually and philosophically engaging. When the ship's sadistic master-at-arms is murdered, Billy is accused and tried.
 In 1948, Britten and Forster discussed whether Forster might write an opera libretto. Choose an adventure below and discover your next favorite movie or TV show. The staging is intense and moving, the scene with Billy being given his final meal is a very good example of the latter. 4 flutes (2nd, 3rd and 4th doubling piccolos), 2 oboes, cor anglais, 2 clarinets (2nd doubling E-flat clarinet and 2nd bass clarinet), bass clarinet (doubling 3rd clarinet), alto saxophone, 2 bassoons, double bassoon, 4 horns, 4 trumpets (3rd in D), 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, percussion (six players xylophone, glockenspiel, triangle, block, tambourine, side drum, tenor drum, bass drum, whip, cymbals, small gong, 4 drums (played by drummers on stage)]), harp, strings. The orchestra helps bring out different shades in the vocal lines: the character of the Novice is associated with the plaintive sound of the saxophone, while Claggart is introduced by gruff tubas and timpani. Peter Glossop sadly was an underrated baritone who never got the recognition he deserved, his voice is bigger and more sonorous than most which you can hear evidently here, and he gives a very moving performance here. You must be a registered user to use the IMDb rating plugin. With the exceptions of the brief prologue and epilogue, the opera takes place in the year 1797 aboard the British warship HMS Indomitable. What to Watch if You Miss the "Game of Thrones" Cast. Add the first question. Looking for something to watch? He orders the Novice to try to bribe Billy into joining a mutiny, and the broken-spirited Novice quickly agrees. Baritone Joshua Hopkins stars as the innocent Billy Budd, wrongly accused of mutiny by the malevolent master-at-arms Claggart, performed by bass Matthew Rose.
For recordings, the Simon Keenlyside one is highly recommended. Billy refuses the bribe and believes he will be rewarded, but Dansker warns him to beware of Claggart.  (This was the end of Act 3 in the four-act version.). The Indomitable goes in pursuit, and fires a warning short, but loses the enemy in the mist. In the two-act version, after Billy has asked about the ship's captain, Dansker mentions Captain Vere's nickname, "Starry Vere," and this is enough for the impulsive Billy to swear his loyalty to the unseen captain. Of the performances, Peter Pears(who created the role of Captain Vere as he did with Peter Grimes, he and Britten were great friends as well) comes off best, his trademark musicianship and intelligence shines through as does the dignity of his acting. The officers, forgetting mention of the name of his prior ship, take his words as a deliberate provocation and order the men below decks. Billy Budd is one of Britten's best operas, it has a very moving story and some of the most beautiful music of any of Britten's operas(especially Captain Vere's epilogue). When the ship's sadistic master-at-arms is murdered, Billy is accused and tried. The foremost challenge was to create the necessary aural variety in the large, all-male cast. The yacht's interior has been designed by Humphreys Yacht Design. Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? The cruelty of the punishment shocks Billy, but he feels certain that if he follows the rules he will be in no danger. (TV Movie 1966).
Baritones who have sung the role of Billy Budd include Sir Thomas Allen, Sir Simon Keenlyside, Richard Stilwell, Dale Duesing, Nathan Gunn, Rod Gilfry, Bo Skovhus, Thomas Hampson, Teddy Tahu Rhodes, Peter Mattei, Jacques Imbrailo and Liam Bonner.  The 1967 Decca studio recording was made of the two-act version; the recording sessions were attended by staff from the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
John Shirley Quick is handsome, youthful and sympathetic as Redburn, Robert Tear and Benjamin Luxon are good in early roles and Dennis Wicks brings a crusty warmth to Dansker. The officers find Billy guilty and sentence him to hang.
According to Uppman, Pears had never felt at ease with this scene, since it required a heroic style of singing which he felt he did not naturally possess. Just before his execution, he praises Vere with his final words, singing "Starry Vere, God Bless you!". Was this review helpful to you? An opera by Benjamin Britten, on a libretto by E.M. Forster and Eric Crozier, adapted from the story by Herman Melville. .  Performances of the original version fell off in number in the subsequent years. At four o'clock that morning, the crew assembles on deck, and Billy is brought out. Claggart tells Squeak, the ship's corporal, to keep an eye on Billy and give him a rough time. Keep track of everything you watch; tell your friends.
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