A truly great non mainstream opera! Terrific music, story and drama! Billy Budd, Op. 50, is an opera by Benjamin Britten to a libretto by the English novelist E. M. Forster and Eric Crozier, based on the short novel Billy Budd by Herman Melville. Originally in four acts, it was first performed at the Royal Opera House, London, on 1 December 1951; it was later revised as a two-act opera with a prologue and an epilogue.
The author E. M. Forster had an interest in the novella, which he discussed in his Clark lectures at Cambridge University. Having admired Britten's music since attending a performance of The Ascent of F6 in 1937, he first met the composer in October 1942 when he heard Peter Pears accompanied by Britten perform the Seven Sonnets of Michelangelo at the National Gallery. In 1948, Britten and Forster discussed whether Forster might write an opera libretto, and by that November, Britten seems to have mentioned Billy Budd as a possible work to be adapted. Forster agreed to this project, and worked with Eric Crozier, a regular Britten collaborator, to write the opera's libretto.
While Britten was composing the music, the Italian composer Giorgio Federico Ghedini premiered his one-act operatic setting of Billy Budd at the 1949 Venice International Festival. This disturbed Britten, but Ghedini's opera gained little notice.
Britten originally intended the title role for Geraint Evans, who prepared it but then withdrew because it lay too high for his voice. Britten chose Theodor Uppman to replace him, and Evans sang a different role, that of Mr Flint. #ilovemusic #iloveopera #opera #operatic #operabuff #operalife #britten #benjaminbritten #aldeburgh #aldeburghmusic #aldeburghfestival #billybudd #emforster #deccarecords #operaonvinyl #