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Performance notes: Billy Budd

A stunning new production of Billy Budd is helping revive Glyndebourne’s reputation and cement Britten’s international appeal

By Martin Kettle   July 2010

All at sea: Jacques Imbrailo in the title role of Billy Budd

Glyndebourne’s formidably good new production of Benjamin Britten’s 1951 opera Billy Budd bears witness to three connected things. The first is that Britten’s operas, which unlike Billy Budd are often small-scale chamber pieces, are ideally suited to the more intimate dimensions of the East Sussex venue. The second is that the new production shows how the exclusive summer opera festival is finding its artistic voice again after an uncertain few years. The third is the extent to which the new Billy Budd reminds us that Britten’s successor composers…

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