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Billy Budd – the British opera in the National Theatre

Článek jsem zveřejnila 19.2.2018

Seniors love going to cultural events. One of them is an opera. Billy Budd is the first British played opera in Prague!
I invite my students to go and see it. It will be on this April in the National Theatre.

Billy Budd, the opera by British composer Benjamin Britten (1913–1976), is from a novel by Herman Melville (1800s). First presented in London in 1951, it is one of the most celebrated British musical works of the 20th century. This year, it has its Czech premiere!

The opera Billy Budd tells the story of what happened on a British battleship during the Napoleonic Wars. Britten was a passionate pacifist – he had a great sense of justice and did not like violence. Britten was against war conflicts and aggression towards individuals. These topics have an important role in the opera.

This is a story about Billy Budd, a handsome, naïve, trustful young person. A cruel man called John Claggart hates Billy and treats him very badly. By accident, Billy kills the cruel man – as a result, he is sentenced to death. The captain of the ship must make a difficult decision: should he pardon the innocent boy or should he punish him?

Billy Budd is an emotional, male opera. In the beautiful music, we can hear the sea, the waves, and the wind. Prague welcomes the opera Billy Budd!

Performance dates: 25 and 27 April 2018
Venue: National Theatre
Language: Czech and English surtitles
Duration: 3 hours (including a 20-minute pause)

Details of the performance:
Original 4-Act version (1951)
Libretto: Edward Morgan Forster and Eric Crozier
Music: The State Opera Chorus and Orchestra featuring Losers Cirque Company and members of the Czech Philharmonic Children’s Choir with chorus master Jiří Chvála
Musical preparation: Christopher Ward Stage
Director: Daniel Špinar
Sets: Lucia Škandíková
Costumes: Marek Cpin
Lighting design: Karel Šimek
Chorus master: Adolf Melichar
Choreography: Radim Vizváry
Dramaturgy: Jitka Slavíková

Source: PRAGUE TV [online] / https://prague.tv/en/s232/c7%20Events/cpe201801281900253189-Billy-Budd

Adapted by: Jodie Hruby UK/USA