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


Price: £24.91 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Britten: Billy Budd [Blu-ray] [2011] [2010] + Britten: Peter Grimes [Blu-ray] [2013]
Price For Both: £54.40

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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 (19 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004UU31WU
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 55,622 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
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 Sep 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Musicista on 22 Sep 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
AN OUTSTANDING DVD OF OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION, WHICH I HAD SEEN AT A LIVE CINEMA TRANSMISSON FROM GYNDEBOURNE. WANTED AN ENCORE!
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Harry F. Korbl on 6 May 2011
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Benjamin Britten's Billy Budd is a 2 Act Opera with a Prologue and Epilogue. The libretto is derived from an unfinished novella written by American author Herman Melville.

The plot follows Billy Budd, a seaman impressed into service aboard HMS Bellipotent in the year 1797, about the time the Royal Navy was reeling from two major mutinies and England was threatened by the military ambitions of the Revolutionary French Republic.

Billy is a young man with a speech impediment, an innocent whose openness and natural charisma, is loved and respected by the crew.

The ship's Master-at-Arms, John Claggart admires and recognises Billy's seamanship and innocence; he refers to him as "a find in a thousand", yet inexplicably sets out to destroy him. Using his position of power over the crew, he fabricates false evidence and accuses Billy of conspiracy to mutiny.

Claggart brings his charges to Captain Edward Fairfax "Starry" Vere. When Claggart repeats his false charges in Billy's and Vere's presence, Billy is unable to find the words to respond and to defend himself verbally, lashes out with his fist, strikes and kills Claggart.

Captain Vere convenes a drumhead court-martial, acting as convening authority, prosecutor, defense counsel and sole witness (except for Billy himself). The court-martial panel lament that they must follow the letter of the Mutiny Act and the Articles of War, the law dictates what must ensue (whether it is just or not); an enlisted man who kills an officer during wartime (accidentally or otherwise) must hang. When asked for guidance by the panel, Captain Vere despite his belief in Billy's innocence before God refuses to intercede on Billy's behalf (Vere's words, following Claggart's death; "Struck dead by an angel of God!
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