Deborah Warner’s Billy Budd first at Covent Garden in nearly two decades

Deborah Warner’s multi award-winning production of Billy Budd will open at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden on Tuesday 23 April. A co-production between the ROH, Teatro Real Madrid and Opera di Roma, it was first performed in Madrid in 2017 before transferring to Rome last year, and will be the first production of Britten’s all-male opera at Covent Garden for nearly two decades.

Original cast-members Toby Spence, Brindley Sherratt, David Soar and Duncan Rock reprise the roles they created in Madrid, joined by Jette Parker Young Artist Dominic Sedgwick as The Novice’s Friend.

Hailed as “masterful” (Opera News) and “an instant classic” (bachtrack), the production received the 2018 International Opera Award for Best New Production (an award for which Deborah is nominated again this year, for La traviata at Théâtre des Champs Elysées), and features a staggering 800 litres of water, two sails, 30 pulleys and 60 hammocks. It was also announced on Sunday that Deborah has been awarded best director at the 38th edition of the Premio “Abbiati”.

A DVD of the production, released on BelAir Classiques in 2018, won the Diapason d’Or de l’année Opera Award in 2018 and last week was awarded the 2019 BBC Music Magazine DVD Award.

Billy Budd opens in London on 23 April, with further performances on 29 April, 2, 7 and 10 May 2019. View more details on the ROH website.

Join Toby Spence, Deborah Warner, Ivor Bolton and Susanna Stranders as they explore the production in the video below:

Main photo: © Yasuko Kageyama (Rome)

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