Benjamin Britten
Billy Budd

New Stage Opera in two acts

Billy Budd Opera Tickets

Official tickets
10% discount for regular customers
Free same day delivery in Moscow
Tickets (from 2650 rub.)

Benjamin Britten’s opera Billy Budd is among the most high profile premieres of the Bolshoi Theater’s 241st theatrical season and the story about a young sailor will be directed by a British producer David Alden. The audiences eagerly await the opportunity to attend this opera, since the works of Britten rarely appear on stage but are always full of surprises.

You can purchase Billy Budd opera tickets online or by calling our phone number: +7 (495) 150-25-05. It will be our pleasure to help you organize a trip to the Bolshoi Theater!


Music Director - William Lacey

Stage Director - David Alden

Set Designer - Paul Stainberg

Costume Designer - Constance Hoffman

Lighting Designer - Adam Silverman

Movement Director- Maxine Braham

Fight Coordinator - Jessica Jackson-Smith

Prologue

Captain Vere, an old man, is haunted by a moment in his life when he was tested and found wanting.

ACT I

Scene 1 On board HMS Indomitable, a British man-of-war, during the French wars of 1797

Parties of seamen are at work. A novice seaman collides accidentally with the Bosun and later slips on the deck; the Bosun orders him to be flogged.

A boarding party returns from a passing merchant ship, the Rights o' Man, with three men impressed for naval service. Master-at-Arms John Claggart interviews the men. Only the last, Billy Budd, pleases the officers: he is a strong and enthusiastic sailor whose one defect is an occasional stammer. He bids a joyful welcome to his new life and an impassioned farewell to the Rights o' Man. Misunderstanding his farewell for a revolutionary declaration, the officers are alarmed and order to clear the deck.

Claggart, who is responsible for discipline, is instructed to keep an eye on Billy. He sets his corporal, Squeak, to watch and harass him.

The Novice returns from the flogging. The new recruits, appalled by the sight, are assured by Donald and Dansker that no one can escape his share of punishment. They warn against Claggart while showing their devotion to Captain Vere. Billy is attracted to the goodness of Vere and, along with the other men, swears to die for him if necessary.

Scene 2 Captain Vere's cabin, a week later

Vere is reading alone at night. He sends for two officers to share a drink with him. They discuss the recent naval mutinies at Spithead and the Nore. Vere discounts their fears about Billy's influence on the men, who are heard singing below decks. Another officer arrives to announce that enemy land has been sighted.

Scene 3 Below decks, the same evening

The men are off-duty and singing sea shanties. Billy discovers Squeak meddling with his kit-bag and they fight until Squeak is disarmed. Claggart arrives, has Squeak arrested and congratulates Billy. The men turn in for the night.

Claggart reveals his determination to destroy Billy. He forces the Novice to try and bribe Billy into leading a mutiny.

Billy wakes from a dream of drowning to hear the Novice's proposal. In his fury at the idea of mutiny he can only stammer; the Novice runs away. Dansker realizes that Claggart is behind it all, but Billy refuses to believe him, dreaming instead of promotion.

ACT II

Scene 1 Some days later

Mist surrounds the ship. Claggart begins telling Vere that there is a dangerous seaman aboard, when a French ship is sighted. The crew are called to action stations; a shot is fired, but the wind fails, the mist returns and the chase is abandoned. Claggart returns to Vere; he accuses Billy of planning a mutiny. Vere, disbelieving him, orders both men to his cabin.

Scene 2 Captain's Vere's cabin, a few minutes later

Billy arrives expecting promotion, only to be confronted by Claggart's false accusation of inciting mutiny. Finding himself unable to speak in his defence, Billy hits out and Claggart falls dead. Vere is horrified. Sending Billy into an adjoining room, he summons his officers to an immediate trial, knowing that the penalty for striking a superior officer is death. Billy is brought before the drumhead court martial. Aware of the injustice of the death sentence in this instance, the officers appeal to Vere for guidance; he refuses to advise them and they reluctantly resolve that Billy should be hanged at dawn. Vere knows that he could have saved Billy. He goes to tell him the verdict.

Scene 3 The next morning, shortly before dawn

Billy awaits his execution; Dansker brings him food and drink.

Scene 4 On deck, four o'clock the same morning

The crew assemble to witness the hanging. Billy's final words are 'Starry Vere, God bless you!', a shout which is echoed by the crew. But after the hanging they turn on the officers in anger and resentment. Ordered below, their rebellion subsides into sullen obedience.

Epilogue

Vere, an old man, knows he has failed Billy and himself: he could have saved him. He receives Billy's last words as a kind of benediction, redeeming him at the last.

Tickets to Billy Budd Opera

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You will always find something interesting on our website: concerts of classical music, opera and ballet performances, shows, art events, and more. The 2016-2017 theater season at the Bolshoi Theater will be quite spectacular, as a number of noteworthy premiers are being staged – opera Billy Budd being one of them. You’ll be able to purchase tickets to Billy Budd on our website as soon as they become available for sale. Please follow our news and updates as not to miss the opportunity to be one of the first to witness this grand premiere.

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Opera Billy Budd at the Bolshoi Theater

According to previous information the premiere of the opera Billy Budd will take place on the stage of the Bolshoi Theater on November 25, 2016. Music director and the chief conductor of the Bolshoi Theater Tugan Sokhiev - said in his interview that the production is being staged in partnership with the English National Opera.

Benjamin Britten’s works are rarely seen on Russian stages, and as infrequently in Europe. The opera Billy Budd is one of the musical works that are not widely known, but true connoisseurs of classics however would surely be familiar with it. While the premiere is still a long way off, we are confident that the Billy Budd opera tickets at the Bolshoi Theater will enjoy great popularity with the audiences.

The opera was written in 1951, and almost immediately presented in London, on the stage of Royal Opera House, Coven Garden. The opera is based on the unfinished work of the same name by the American author Herman Melville, who also wrote Moby Dick. The original feature of the opera is that all parts must be voiced by men.

The English composer Benjamin Britten has written several dozen operas, ballets, oratorios, orchestra pieces, and cantatas – some of which are:

  • Our Hunting Fathers
  • Serenade
  • Peter Grimes
  • Albert Herring
  • Gloriana
  • The Prince of the Pagodas
  • Nocturne
  • The Prodigal Son
  • War Requiem, and others

Russian audiences were introduced to the opera Billy Budd for the first time in 2013 at the Mikhailovsky Theater in St. Petersburg. Now however, they will see a slightly different version.

The opera’s director David Alden is known as an opera original among the theater critics. He knows how to surprise an audience and always offers a new take on famous and well-known classics. Of course, no one is giving away any details for this new staging of Billy Budd, but if such an amazing director is involved then we can expect something truly original and extraordinary.

In the story the ship’s captain Edward Fairfax Vere is remembering his past, and one incident in particular. A young sailor Billy Budd comes on board his ship. He quickly becomes everyone’s favorite, but many on the crew view him as a dangerous instigator. At the time their homeland is in the midst of revolutionary events, and Billy Budd becomes a symbol of that on that particular ship. Those who order tickets to the opera Billy Budd in advance will find out what happens to the young sailor.

We invite you to see the talented actors and this exciting opera premiere in Moscow!