Monday 20 May 2013 -
Britten, Billy Budd, opera
This event has now finished
Exiled to the middle of the ocean…
A piece of land, floating on the sea, shrouded in mist: the action of Billy Budd takes place on board the Indomitable, an English ship floating which we are never sure where it has come from or where it is headed, a ship floating in the infinity of nowhere.
Britten's sea is not a pretext for a study of tone or variations, neither is it the great blue wave of Hokusai, nor does it serve as a threat, or a refuge. The sea is but a presence, a deepness, a mystery which destroys all pain and takes all life in the end.
The young sailor Billy Budd has dreamed of albatrosses and the king of birds, aching for the wide openness of the ocean. Forced to set off on a naval mission, his innocence and beauty are fodder for the wickedness of men. The Indomitable is an arena: it will be his prision and finally his grave.
Inspired by the last work of Herman Melville, Billy Budd is the harsh and poignant tale of the inevitable sacrifice of angels.
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