January 18 –February 16

Billy Budd

Passion, rebellion and anger in a time of war

Intro

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Benjamin Britten’s Billy Budd will be performed in Norway for the very first time! This is an opera set in a hard masculine environment, about repressed passions and the weight of guilt - but also about rebellion, the power of beauty and about release.

Director of Opera Annilese Miskimmon herself directs this masterpiece, featuring an exclusively male cast.

When good meets the meaningless

«Oh, what have I done?» asks Captain Edward Fairfax Vere? Many years after captaining the ship «HMS Indomitable», he is still haunted by events that took place there.

A young man, Billy Budd, comes on board. He is happy, strong, industrious and strikingly handsome. Everyone - even the hardened Master-at-Arms Claggart - is drawn to him. The young man’s only imperfection is that he stammers when stressed, and this will have fatal consequences. Captain Vere is forced to do something which will haunt him for the rest of his life.

Director Annilese Miskimmon and Set and Costume designer Annemarie Woods, take us onto a submarine during the Vichy regime in 1940s France. Here we meet a close and claustrophobic environment, controlled by sailors’ discipline and the meaningless necessity of war.

Britten’s Billy

Benjamin Britten is the most often-performed composer to be born in the 20th Century. His great breakthrough was Peter Grimes in 1945, before the chamber operas The Rape of Lucretia (1946) and Albert Herring (1947). With Billy Budd he returns to the full opera format. The piece had its premier at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in 1951, where Britten also took the role of conductor. Britten’s life partner Peter Pears took the role of Captain Vere.

Certain themes recur through Britten’s works: conflicts between individuals and society, the horrors of war, destructive conventions and repressed desire. Billy Budd was written at a time when homosexuality was still illegal under British law, and theatrical and operatic performances continued to be censored. What the opera says about these themes is therefore given in coded form. But this opera is also about being a human, in a world where one is ultimately alone; where we yearn to belong, to be loved, forgiven and accepted.

The most beautiful story in the world

The text is based upon a novel by the American literary giant Herman Melville, perhaps best known for another maritime adventure: Moby Dick. Billy Budd, Sailor was one of Melville’s last works, and was discovered among his papers when he died in 1891. Thomas Mann, another giant of literature, called the novel «the most beautiful story in the world».

  • Première discussion
  • Free introduction one hour before the performance
  • Music Benjamin Britten
  • Edward Morgan Forster og Eric Crozier, basert på Herman Melvilles roman
  • Conductor Mark Wigglesworth
  • Director Annilese Miskimmon
  • Set design and costumes Annemarie Woods
  • Lighting design Paule Constable

Main roles

  • Edward Fairfax Vere

    Peter Hoare
    Playing the following days
    • 18. Jan 2019
    • 20. Jan 2019
    • 23. Jan 2019
    • 25. Jan 2019
    • 2. Feb 2019
    • 5. Feb 2019
    • 8. Feb 2019
    • 16. Feb 2019
  • Billy Budd

    Jacques Imbrailo
    Playing the following days
    • 18. Jan 2019
    • 20. Jan 2019
    • 23. Jan 2019
    • 25. Jan 2019
    • 2. Feb 2019
    • 5. Feb 2019
    • 8. Feb 2019
    • 16. Feb 2019
  • John Claggart

    John Relyea
    Playing the following days
    • 18. Jan 2019
    • 20. Jan 2019
    • 23. Jan 2019
    • 25. Jan 2019
    • 2. Feb 2019
    • 5. Feb 2019
    • 8. Feb 2019
    • 16. Feb 2019
  • Mr. Redburn

    Aleksander Nohr
    Playing the following days
    • 18. Jan 2019
    • 20. Jan 2019
    • 23. Jan 2019
    • 25. Jan 2019
    • 2. Feb 2019
    • 5. Feb 2019
    • 8. Feb 2019
    • 16. Feb 2019
  • Mr. Flint

    Johannes Weisser
    Playing the following days
    • 18. Jan 2019
    • 20. Jan 2019
    • 23. Jan 2019
    • 25. Jan 2019
    • 2. Feb 2019
    • 5. Feb 2019
    • 8. Feb 2019
    • 16. Feb 2019

Other roles

Buy tickets

Select date for Billy Budd

  • Scene
    :
    Main House
  • Price
    :
    100 - 695 NOK
  • /
    1 intermission

January 2019

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February 2019

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