Bravo to Brindley Sherratt, currently enjoying an enormous success in his role debut as Claggart in the Glyndebourne Festival’s revival of Billy Budd. The production has been called “the operatic highlight of the year” by What’s on Stage and the critics have been unanimous in their praise for Brindley’s performance. In The Telegraph, Rupert Christiansen wrote that “[Billy’s] nemesis is Brindley Sherratt, transcending his usual level of excellence to create a Claggart whose malevolence is all the more chilling for being so contained and purposeful. The word ‘love’ can rarely have sounded nastier than it does in his mouth” and George Hall in The Guardian judged that “the deep resonances of his sepulchral bass [matches] the malevolent physicality of an interpretation that retains a painfully self-hating humanity while outlining a full-scale demonic being.” Alexandra Coghlan, reviewing the opera for The Arts Desk, wrote that “there’s no doubting the sinister force of Brindley Sherratt’s Claggart however, whose menacing physicality is offset by the beauty of his tone. His villain is all the more potent for his musical appeal” while Edward Bhesania, writing for The Stage, simply judged his performance “magnetic”.
Brindley’s success at the Glyndebourne Festival brings to an end a truly terrific season which began with his debut at the Netherlands Opera as Sarastro in a new production of Die Zauberflöte. He then sang Créon in David McVicar’s acclaimed new production of Charpentier’s Medea at the English National Opera before returning to Covent Garden to sing Sarastro in a run of performances which garnered him yet more glittering reviews.
Brindley’s 2013/14 season promises to be even more exciting and includes several significant house debuts. In November he will make his debut at the Vienna State Opera as Sarastro in another new production of Die Zauberflöte before travelling to New York where he reprises the role of Claggart, this time on tour with the Glyndebourne Billy Budd company which will present the work at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Brindley then hot foots it to Munich where he will make his debut at the Bayerische Staatsoper in another of his signature roles, Pimen in Boris Godunov, before rounding off his season with yet more performances as Sarastro in Vienna.
Performances of Billy Budd continue at the Glyndebourne Festival until 25 August and the production can be seen at the BBC Proms in a semi staged version on 27 August. Bravo Brindley !