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Billy Budd

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US Premiere
Feb 7—Feb 13, 2014
Performance dates & times
RUN TIME: 3hrs 5min (with 20min intermission)
February 2014
26 27 28 29 30 31 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 1
Friday February 07, 2014
Performances no longer available.

By Benjamin Britten
Glyndebourne Festival Opera
London Philharmonic Orchestra
The Glyndebourne Chorus
Conducted by Sir Mark Elder
Directed by Michael Grandage

“The British tenor Mark Padmore, the Vere of this production, gives one of the most memorable performances I have seen in opera.”
—Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times

As part of a worldwide celebration of the composer’s 100th birthday, Benjamin Britten’s sweeping, seafaring masterpiece comes to BAM in a spectacular production from Glyndebourne Festival Opera, helmed by Tony Award-winning director Michael Grandage (former artistic director of the Donmar Warehouse). From lilting a capella sea shanties to bombastic choral juggernauts, Britten’s magnificent score roars to life under the direction of esteemed conductor Sir Mark Elder and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, while Glyndebourne’s all-male cast fills designer Christopher Oram’s cavernous ship with truly unforgettable sound. Based on Herman Melville’s classic novella, with a powerful libretto by E.M. Forster and Eric Crozier, Billy Budd transforms a British man o’ war into a crucible for human faith and error, where truth is fugitive and justice never absolute.

Set design by Christopher Oram
Costume design by Christopher Oram
Lighting design by Paule Constable
Movement direction by Tom Roden

Read the BAM program notes for Billy Budd

Made possible by a generous gift from The Howard Gilman Foundation.

Leadership support for Billy Budd provided by
Aashish & Dinyar Devitre, and Robert L. Turner


Leadership support for opera at BAM provided by

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
The Peter Jay Sharp Foundation

Related Content
In Context: Billy Budd 
Immerse yourself in the world of Billy Budd and get to know Benjamin Britten with this curated selection of videos, articles, and more on the BAM blog.
Billy Budd: On Benjamin Britten
Sun, Feb 9, 2014
Billy Budd: On Benjamin Britten
Sun, Feb 9, 2014

Opera expert Fred Plotkin examines the life and work of Benjamin Britten, in conjunction with Glyndebourne Festival Opera’s production of Billy Budd at BAM this season.

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The buzz
Billy Budd
  • #BillyBudd a good man,condemned by authority,tarnished by those not present,a tale of man-Vs-power? One sin kills? A sad tale non the less (8/15/2017 5:20:50 AM) (about 7 days ago)
  • Ref-to #BillyBudd Why do we as people,or society fear the happy,fear the "perfect"? Why must we try to see angels,gods,or heroes bleed? (8/15/2017 3:36:47 AM) (about 7 days ago)
  • #BillyBudd is Claggart tempting Billy? Is #HermanMeville showing the battle of mans soul through a life as a sailor? Billy=christlikefigure? (8/15/2017 1:27:46 AM) (about 7 days ago)
  • The inside narration is almost 2nd/3rd/1st person narration, makong feel like a personal eassy than a short story #billybudd #hermanmeville (8/14/2017 6:51:48 PM) (about 7 days ago)
  • Does Billys handombess rep his inoccence and the military sailors rep Society as a whole diring the period? #BillyBudd #HermanMevill (8/14/2017 6:49:02 PM) (about 7 days ago)
  • Idle time. Its the worst type of time for a sailors,its blood in the water for commands #militaryLife #BillyBudd #HermanMeville (8/14/2017 6:31:57 PM) (about 7 days ago)
  • Reading #BillyBudd and its a tale(soFar)shows life at sea no pirates,treasures,monsters,mal-storms just scuttlebutts&people #HermanMelville (8/14/2017 6:07:43 PM) (about 7 days ago)