Glyndebourne starts its Britten centenary celebrations by releasing an audio recording of its 2010 production of Billy Budd on the Glyndebourne label.
This popular production was the first ever staging of Billy Budd at Glyndebourne and the seventh Britten opera to be performed at the opera house. It marked the operatic directing debut of theatre director, Michael Grandage, and was conducted by Sir Mark Elder. Billy Budd is revived for “Glyndebourne Festival 2013”: with many of the original cast returning to reprise their roles.
On opening, Billy Budd was lauded by critics for its musical and production values with Jacques Imbrailo, in the title role, singled out for particular praise:
“The central performances are all remarkable. Jacques Imbrailo makes an important career step with his assumption of Billy. In imposing voice, he has the difficult task of presenting a character of natural goodness and entirely succeeds.”
George Hall, The Stage
“Concern with detail is evident, too, in Mark Elder’s conducting. From the London Philharmonic and the thrilling Glyndebourne Chorus he gets an aptly macho blast at climactic moments.”
Richard Morrison, The Times
“Michael Grandage’s handsome production of Britten’s brutal classic is as good as opera can get.”
Anna Picard, Independent on Sunday
“An unmissable triumph”
Rupert Christiansen, The Daily Telegraph
Great opera performances are fleeting moments in time and since 1960, every note of every Glyndebourne Festival performance has been recorded making it possible to deliver realistic recordings which recreate the live experience.
The Glyndebourne Label launched in 2008 and makes use of modern technology to delve in to this incredible archive and allow some of the most seminal opera performances of the last fifty years to be enjoyed again and again. Billy Budd is just the latest in a series of classic Glyndebourne releases.
The CD is available to “buy from the Glyndebourne shop”: as well as other good music retailers from January 2013. A “DVD of the same production”: was released in 2011.
Glyndebourne’s Britten centenary celebrations continue throughout 2013. In the spring BBC4 will broadcast the 2010 Festival production of Billy Budd before it is revived for Festival 2013. During the summer there will be a special performance of selected Britten canticles from the London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Vladimir Jurowski, and a new production of The Rape of Lucretia, directed by Fiona Shaw for “Glyndebourne Tour”: follows in October.