Benjamin Britten's powerfully dramatic sea-faring opera returns to Glyndebourne with Jacques Imbrailo in the title role and Mark Padmore making his role debut as Captain Vere.
The tense and stifling atmosphere on board a British man-o-war during the Napoleonic wars, with discipline brutally enforced and danger of attack ever present, is powerfully evoked in this production by Michael Grandage. What happens when a ship's captain is crippled by doubt when he is forced to make a terrible decision over life and death? Britten and his librettists E.M. Forster and Eric Crozier present a situation where a man’s innocence, a shining goodness as embodied in the character of Billy, is not enough to save him.
(A revival of the 2010 Festival production, sung in English with English supertitles. Billy Budd recorded live in 2010 will be shown in cinemas and online from Aug 19.)