Sunday, January 29, 2017

Teatro Real's sexy, "100% Masculine" Billy Budd

Jacques Imbrailo and Borja Quiza in Billy Budd at the Teatro Real
The advertisement for Benjamin Britten's Billy Budd at the Teatro Real in Madrid looks like it was written by Bariunks: "100% Masculine, 8 baritones, 1 bass-baritone and 3 basses..." [and some tenors, etc.].  The production, which is part of their bicentenary celebration, includes a veritable "who's who" of barihunks, including Jacques Imbrailo as Billy Budd, Thomas Oliemans as Mr. Redburn, Duncan Rock as Donald, Torben Jürgens as Lieutenant Ratcliffe and Borja Quiza as The Novice's Friend.

Teatro Real's sexy ad for Billy Budd
The libretto is based on the novel with the same name by Herman Melville and takes place aboard a ship of the British Royal Navy. The opera tells the story of the sailor Billy Budd: a beautiful youth who is loyal, generous, strong, naive and kind. Billy’s physical attributes and charisma disarm the ship's master-at-arms who is incapable of controlling the situation and in the end, he sacrifices the innocent lad without compunction. 

The Teatro Real certainly plays up these aspects in their production, which runs through February 25. Tickets and additional cast information is available online.

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