Britten's Billy Budd

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Saturday, December 04, 2010

In 2008, Houston Grand Opera began a multi-year survey of the works of Benjamin Britten with Billy Budd, based on Herman Melville’s 1891 novella and adapted by E. M. Forster and Eric Crozier in 1951. The piece follows the trials of Billy Budd, "a new sailor aboard the H.M.S. Indomitable whose strength, confidence, and ability threaten the evil Master-at-arms, John Claggart." What follows is a tale of jealousy, torture, accusations of mutiny and accidental death.

Taking on the title role is baritone and HGO Studio alum Daniel Belcher. Also featured in the all-male cast are bass Phillip Ens as the black-hearted John Claggart, British tenor Andrew Kennedy making his U.S operatic debut as Captain Vere, baritone Liam Bonner as Redburn, tenor Joseph Evans as Red Whiskers, Phillip Cutlip as Donald, Gwynne Howell as Dansker, Rodell Rosel as Squeak and Ryan McKinny as Flint.

CAST:

Billy Budd                                Daniel Belcher

Edward Fairfax Vere                 Andrew Kennedy

John Claggart                           Phillip Ens

Mr. Redburn                             Liam Bonner

Mr. Flint                                   Ryan McKinny

Red Whiskers                           Joseph Evans

Donald                                    Phillip Cutlip

Dansker                                  Gwynn Howell

Novice                                    Chad Freeburg

Novice’s Friend                        James J. Kee

Maintop                                   Beau Gibson

Squeak                                   Rodell Rosel

CONDUCTOR:                         Patrick Summers                                 

HOUSTON GRAND OPERA ORCHESTRA, CHORUS & CHILDREN’S CHORUS

APPROX. LENGTH:                   2 hours 47 minutes

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