Britten's Billy Budd from LA Opera

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Recorded during the Benjamin Britten centennial year, LA Opera presents the composer’s most ambitious opera, Billy Budd, in a definitive staging by Francesca Zambello from her 1995 Covent Garden production. It stars Liam Bonner in the lead role, and is conducted by the company’s music director James Conlon,

Based on the short novel Billy Budd by Herman Melville, the work is a seafaring tale steeped in themes of claustrophobia. When it was composed in 1951, Billy Budd was Britten’s most daring work, addressing homosexual themes that were taboo at the time. He also suggested his opposite to military code when his country was recovering from World War II. Such themes are no longer so daring, but the opera still requires significant logistical effort to pull off.

Cast:
Billy Budd             Liam Bonner
Captain Vere        Richard Croft
John Claggart       Greer Grimsley
Mr. Redburn          Anthony Michaels-Moore
Mr. Flint                Daniel Sumegi
Lieutenant Ratcliffe   Patrick Blackwell
Red Whiskers        Greg Fedderly
Arthur Jones          Museop Kim
Donald                  Jonathan Michie
Dansker                James Creswell
Bosun                   Craig Colclough
Novice                  Keith Jameson
First Mate              Paul LaRosa
Second Mate         Daniel Armstrong
Novice's Friend      Valentin Anikin
Maintop                 Vladimir Dmitruk
Squeak                 Matthew O'Neill
Cabin Boy             Rory Hemmings

CONDUCTOR:  James Conlon
CHORUS:   LA Opera Chorus
CHORUS MASTER:  Grant Gershon