Operagasm Review Rundown: ‘Billy Budd’ at LA Opera
by Melissa Wimbish
Bring on the men! According to L.A. Times reviewer, Mark Swed, Billy Budd is not to be missed. Check out the Operagasm Review Rundown and don’t miss your chance to see it in March!
Don’t be scurred: “Praise comes easily to “Billy Budd.” It is consummate music theater. Britten makes the oppressive lyrical and ambiguity accessible. Sophisticated musical structure and sophisticated subject matter, especially for the time, do not violate the mainstream, even middlebrow, needs of grand opera. Do not be afraid of ‘Billy Budd.’”
Like I said, BRING ON THE MEN!: “Liam Bonner’s engaging Billy is a standout. A lot of other guys are on stage — 20 named characters, plus a chorus of sailors and boys — and all come through. James Conlon, the force behind L.A.’s Britten celebrations, conducts with unerring conviction.”
Who run the world?: “At least the director and the designer are women. Francesca Zambello’s production, with sets and costumes by Alison Chitty, was originally created for the Royal Opera and Paris Opera nearly two decades ago … Although Zambello has brought a feminist point of view to some of her other productions, here she mainly let the opera speak for itself. Compared with the directorial license common and expected these days, her ‘Billy Budd’ is in fact straightforward.”