Herman Melville's unfinished 1891 novella Billy Budd is transformed into a sweeping grand opera under Benjamin Britten's famed interpretation. The two-act rarity comes to vivid life during the return of acclaimed English opera maker John Dexter's production to the Met Opera House, starring Canadian baritone Joshua Hopkins as the titular wronged sailor for five performances in the spring of 2021.
Within the scale of the traditional grand opera, Britten brings variance and aural color to a large all-male cast. Set during the French Revolutionary Wars of the late 1700s, the story takes place aboard a British warship called the HMS Indomitable. When three new recruits join the crew, one of them stands out. Billy Budd is a hard worker with a stammer and a kind nature. His goodness inspires jealousy and hatred amongst the men, and Budd's fate becomes entwined with that of the Master at Arms John Claggart and his venomous plots.
Opening night: 21 May 2021
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