Liam Bonner as Billy Budd. (Robert Millard)
LA Opera is presenting Benjamin Britten’s opera “Billy Budd.” Based on Herman Melville’s classic tale, this production premiers tonight at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles.
The opera stars baritone Liam Bonner as Billy, and features an all-male cast with tenor Richard Croft as Captain Vere, and Bass Greer Grimsley as master-at-arms Claggart.
Over the last 25 years, LA Opera has become the fourth-largest opera house in the United States, and under the direction of the legendary Placido Domingo, has become one of the foremost opera houses in the world.
Since their inaugural production of Verdi’s “Otello” starring Domingo, LA Opera has presented some of the world’s most acclaimed operas, including Berlioz’s “The Trojans” in the 1991-92 season, Herbert Ross’s production of “La Bohème” in the 1993-94 season, “The Marriage of Figaro” in the 2003-04 season, and “La Traviata” during the 2006-07 season, among many others.
World renowned conductor and composer James Conlon took over as music director in 2006, and his world-class reputation and leadership has brought international acclaim to every production he is involved in.
“Billy Budd” is centered around a pure-hearted sailor who endures ruthless persecution by his sadistic and predatory master-at-arms, which ultimately leads to his destruction. A work that has captivated its audiences since its world premiere in 1951, it has been described as a tragedy of “sexual discharge gone evil” by E.M. Forster, the English novelist who adapted the libretto.
Edison Millan contributed to this story.