Friday, August 9, 2019

Veritable feast of barihunks in San Francisco Opera's Billy Budd

John Chest as Billy Budd at the Deutsche Oper Berlin (Photo: Marcus Lieberenz)
In celebration of Herman Melville's bicentennial and the 100th anniversary of the posthumous discovery of the author's unfinished manuscript of Billy Budd, the San Francisco Opera will present Benjamin Britten's operatic version from September 7-22.

This will be only the fourth time that the opera has been performed in the company's history. It was last performed during the 2004-05 season with barihunks Nathan Gunn as Billy Budd, Philip Skinner as Mr. Ratcliff, Mel Ulrich as Donald, Daniel Okulitch as the Gunner's mate, Lucas Meachem as the Novice's Friend, Troy Cook as Mr. Flint and Joshua Bloom as the First Mate.   

Nathan Gunn  as Billy Budd at the SF Opera (Photo: Merkle)
The all-male cast of 75 principle artists and choristers, will be led by barihunk John Chest in the title role. Chest returns to San Francisco, where he was a member of the Merola Opera Program. Chest has performed the role twice with the Deutsche Oper Berlin in 2014 and 2017.

The cast also include a veritable feast of barihunks and bass-barihunks, including Christian van Horn as the evil John Claggart, Hadleigh Adams as Arthur Jones, Christian Pursell as Lieutenant Ratcliffe, Wayne Tigges as Mr. Flint, John Brancy as Donald, Edward Nelson as Bosun, Sidney Outlaw as First Mate, Kenneth Overton as Second Mate, Eugene Villanueva as the Novice's Friend and Philip Skinner as Dansker. The critical role of Captain Vere will be sung by tenor William Burden.   

The production will be by Tony Award-winning director Michael Grandage, who unveiled this staging at the 2010 Glyndebourne Festival and revived it at the Brooklyn Academy Of Music  in 2014. 

Tickets and additional cast information is available online.

No comments:

Post a Comment