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Britten: Billy Budd [Blu-ray] [2011] [2010]


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Britten: Billy Budd [Blu-ray] [2011] [2010] + Britten: Peter Grimes [Blu-ray] [2013]
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Product details

  • Actors: John Mark Ainsley, Jacques Imbrailo, Phillip Ens, Sir Mark Elder, London Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Directors: Michael Grandage, Francois Rousillon
  • Writers: Benjamin Britten, E.M. Forster
  • Producers: Glyndebourne
  • Format: Classical, Widescreen, Colour, DTS Surround Sound
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, German, Spanish
  • Region: All Regions (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Opus Arte
  • DVD Release Date: 26 April 2011
  • Run Time: 200 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004UU31WU
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 82,333 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Glyndebourne has a proud association with the operas of Benjamin Britten, however until 2010 had never staged Billy Budd. The all-male opera with a libretto co-written by EM Forster, is based on the battle between pure good and blind evil, and is set on a British man- o-war ship. Michael Grandage, Artistic Director of the Donmar Warehouse, chose this work to make his long-awaited operatic debut. Sir Mark Elder returned to conduct, marking the 100th opera production in his illustrious career.

Review

This is the most compelling Billy Budd available on video,and superb in Blu-ray. Perfomance ***** Picture and Sound ***** BBC MUSIC DVD CHOICE --BBC Music Magazine,July'11

Mark Elder has proven with Peter Grimes and Gloriana that the large-scale Britten operas suit him marvellously.This Billy Budd is a similarly immense achievement,clearly recognized as such in the ovations accorded Elder by the Glyndebourne audience. --IRR,July/Aug'11

With the LPO on top form,Mark Elder conducts a performance of impeccable class which never takes the drama to the edge. --Gramophone,Sept'11

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Roy Haines on 13 May 2011
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I already have two DVDs of Billy Budd [the original BBC TV Production with Peter Glossop and the ENO with Thomas Allen]. This Glyndeborne production is truly magnificent. Superlatives escape me. Bearing in mind the cost of seats at the theatre it is truly a bargain to be able to buy this DVD - even if you watch it only once. IF you think you do not like "opera" or the music of Benjamin Britten you could do worse than give this a try. Look at is as an intense pschological drama with tense and throbbing "background music" and you will soon be captured and enthralled! The others who have reviewd this DVD/Blue Ray have said everything with which I totally agree. If you do like this then try the Glyndebourne Tristan & Isolde as well.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By John Chandler on 14 May 2011
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This is a very fine performance indeed. No fancy modern touches, pyjamas, underwear and other rubbish that have ruined several other recent Blu-ray recordings! I have compared it very carefully with the old ENO production on DVD and in almost every respect it is better. Only perhaps in the performance of the evil John Claggert does Richard van Allen give a bit darker and evil sounding reading but not by very much. This is Britten's finest opera and it will be a long time before we get a better recording. Every lover of 20th century opera should try this disc. Superb! Can we hope for Peter Grimes, more Janacek and some Sallinen?
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By K. Hicks on 9 May 2011
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I was fortunate enough to see this production at Glyndebourne during summer 2010 and coming back to this Blu-ray a year on I am even more convinced that this must be considered a definitive production of this opera.

The emotional intensity of the theatre is superbly captured in this moving and evocotive disc.

Highly recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A.C.Shakeshaft on 24 Sept. 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This production scores on every level and should be seen by opera fans everywhere - even those who think they don't like Benjamin Britten! The singing, acting and production combine to give the viewer a stunning theatrical experience - don't miss it!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By the ring on 1 May 2011
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
BRILLIANT, WONDERFUL, SUPERB, FANTASTIC, MIND BLOWING !!!!!! get the picture BUY THIS BLU RAY
Probably one of the best productions of one of the best operas ever !!!!
The soloists are superb ! The chorus is on top form ! The orchestra cannot be faulted ! & Mark Elder brings the whole together in an exemplary fashion. If this Blu ray fails to win awards by the chest full there is no justice. 5 stars are not enough it is out there infront of all currently available opera blu rays.
thank you to all involved

NB audio and screen are in sync unlike some recent recordings
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Andrew G Elmslie on 9 Oct. 2013
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Brilliant production and superb quality. The cast deliver their roles with passion and the choreography is excellent. A must for Glyndebourne and Britten fans
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By Keris Nine TOP 500 REVIEWER on 4 July 2011
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Mark Elder, the conductor for this production of Billy Budd at Glyndebourne 2010 notes that all Britten's opera works are in some way about the loss of innocence. It's an interesting observation that, if too neat and reductive a way to describe the qualities and the approach that Britten takes on the subject in Billy Budd, at least shows that it's a personal theme that means something to the composer. Elder, of course, isn't intending to summarise the power and complexity of this opera or Britten's work in a single phrase, and his deep understanding of the wider themes of Billy Budd is evident in his conducting of this remarkable production.

More than just being about the loss of innocence, it's the different manner in which that innocence is corrupted in each of Britten's operas (Peter Grimes, The Turn of the Screw), that makes them such intriguing works, works that are consequently capable of creating a deep impression on the listener. And although on the surface, Billy Budd, adapted from a short novel by Herman Melville, seems simple enough in its broad depiction of the malicious and deliberate destruction by cruel and heartless authorities of an innocent young man - a common sailor on board the HMS Indomitable in 1797, hard-working, of good heart, kind to his comrades, respectful of his superiors and loyal to the crown - the question of what motivates such behaviour (in the form of John Claggart, the ship's master-of-arms) and how it is sanctioned, or at least tolerated (in the weakness of Captain Vere) is a much more complex and interesting subject that the opera touches upon.
Read more ›
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Format: Blu-ray
This is a magnificent production. The best production of Britten operas' currently in the DVD/Blu ray catalogue.

Realistic, period sets and costumes bring us to the time of the opera. Lighting and video direction do justice to the visual aspects of the production.

Jacques Imbrailo brings the innocence of Billy Bud causing the viewer to sympathize and share the hero's feelings throughout. Phillip Ens may not be as sinister and unsympathetic a Claggart as Michael Langdon was in the Mackerras/Pears set Britten - Billy Budd (Pears, Mackerras) [DVD] [1970], but still he is a daemonic schemer,plotting against Budd. John Mark Ainsley, in the role of Captain Vere, inevitably triggers comparison with Peter Pears on the above set. He may not have the aristocratic class of Pears and he does not quite become as sympathetic a figure as his peer, still he serves the role with adequacy.

Picture is of top quality and sound is excellent, with a fine balance between voices and orchestra.

May we ask for a Peter Grimes from Glyndebourne and if we are not too greedy, a revival of the magnificent Peter Hall production of Albert Herring Britten - Albert Herring (Glyndebourne Festival Opera) [DVD]? These would complement the magnificent, albeit in a diffent style production of Death in Venice Britten: Death in Venice [DVD] [2010] by Teatro La Fenice in Venice and would complete the cycle of recent productions of the major Britten operas.
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