John Mark Ainsley (Captain Vere), Jacques Imbrailo (Billy Budd), Phillip Ens (Claggart), Iain Paterson (Mr Redburn), Matthew Rose (Mr Flint), Darren Jeffery (Lieutenant Ratcliffe), Alasdair Elliott (Red Whiskers), John Moore (Donald), Jeremy White (Dansker), Ben Johnson (Novice), Colin Judson (Squeak) & Richard Mosley-Evans (Bosun)
The Glyndebourne Chorus & London Philharmonic Orchestra, Mark Elder (conductor) & Michael Grandage (director)
Glyndebourne has a proud association with the operas of Benjamin Britten, however until 2010 had never staged Billy Budd. The all-male opera with a libretto co-written by EM Forster, is based on the battle between pure good and blind evil, and is set on a British man-‘o-war ship.
Michael Grandage, Artistic Director of the Donmar Warehouse, chose this work to make his long-awaited operatic debut. Sir Mark Elder returned to conduct, marking the 100th opera production in his illustrious career.
“[Elder paces] the developing tragedy with airily lyrical detail and brooding, ominous power. John Mark Ainsley' s plangent, dark-toned tenor and intense diction show us a more neurotic Vere than usual...Phillip Ens's Claggart maintains a chilly calm, sadistic philosopher rather than snarling bully...[Imbrailo's Billy] is no plaster saint but gauche, hyperactive and open-hearted...this is the most compelling Billy Budd on video, and superb in Blu-ray.” BBC Music Magazine