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15/08/13 19:09 CET
Kaufmann’s dark take on Beethoven at Salzburg Festival20/08 18:01
Jonas Kaufmann’s passion for the unique Salzburg Festival20/08 18:00
Operalia: striking the right note in Covent Garden06/08 18:51
Peter Katona: what makes Operalia unique06/08 18:50
Dudamel’s gift of Beethoven to brotherly Bogota21/07 15:25
Rehearsing with the Simón Bolívar, an orchestra like no other21/07 13:56
Center stage: Operalia at the Royal Opera House21/07 12:01
The art of singing Rossini09/07 19:01
Juan Diego Flórez: A unique bond with La Scala09/07 19:00
Sitting Pretty: rising South African star Yende revels in Don Pasquale role25/06 19:02
The musical journey of Pretty Yende25/06 19:01
Cecilia Bartoli as Gluck’s tragic heroine11/06 19:01
A unique collaboration: Cecilia Bartoli and her duo of directors11/06 19:00
From The International New York Times’ Center stage: Teatro alla Scala11/06 16:31
Stravinsky’s ‘Rake’s Progress’: a beautiful, tragic fall from grace at NY’ Met Opera28/05 19:01
NY Met’s Young Artist Program – heaven for upcoming opera stars28/05 19:00
Opolais brings passion and poise to “Eugene Onegin”14/05 19:01
A poetic journey with “Ciboulette” at the Opéra Comique in Paris30/04 19:01
What is life? Music and science combine in “Interplay” in Stockholm to offer answers16/04 19:01
Don Giovanni: Schrott shines as Monte Carlo is seduced by Mozart’s complex hero02/04 19:01
Billy Budd is back at Glyndebourne Festival!
It is one of the major works by English composer Benjamin Britten, whose birth centenary is celebrated this year. The opera tells the tragic story of the handsome, courageous and honest sailor Billy who is sentenced to death for unwittingly killing his superior.
Rising baritone star Jacques Imbrailo, who has the role of Budd, describes the pure and innocent character with whom he shares many similarities but also plenty of differences: “His way of seeing life, of seeing people, of reacting to things is different, which is why he stands out on the ship. He’s such a positive person, he sees the best in everybody, and I’d be lying if I said that’s me – he’s certainly a much nicer guy than I am. I do tend, when I get nervous, to stammer a little bit, so I can easily see how, when he gets nervous, he stammers… And I’m young, which helps as well, but that will only last so long!”
Captain Vere is played by Mark Padmore and explains that it is like being “caught between what seems like absolute evil in John Claggart and absolute good in Billy Budd.” He adds that “his character is somewhere in the middle” and is “sort of confused”.
The story is told from the perspective of the captain at the helm of a British battleship lost at sea and engulfed in mist – a symbol of claustrophobia and isolation.
Padmore describes how Captain Vere “recognises a love for Billy that is impossible.” He explains that “homosexuality is prohibited, it was even prohibited in England at the time the opera was written in 1951, so there is this sense that love between men is not possible, it’s forbidden, it’s taboo, but it can still be felt.”
Close to celebrating its eighty years of existence, the Glyndebourne Festival is also famous for the elegant attire of its public and the lavish picnic during the long interval.
Jacques Imbrailo says, “part of Billy’s character is that he strives for what’s right. Goodness is best, and what’s right is right. He loves things to be fair, and I think he understands that he’s killed a man therefore the law says he has to die. I think that’s almost more suited to his innocent character the fact that if that’s right, that’s right!”
This revival of Billy Budd was conducted by Sir Andrew Davies, a great interpreter and admirer of Britten’s: “His operas will very much stand the test of time in a hundred years from now. They’ll be performed as the masterpieces that they are. The passions and the problems that people get themselves into because their character doesn’t fit with other people’s characters was the topic that Britten was always obsessed with.”
For more excerpts of our interview with British lighting designer Paule Constable, please click on the following link:
Paule Constable – interview extras
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