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Robert Cummings
MusicWeb International, December 2019

BRITTEN, B.: Billy Budd [Opera] (Teatro Real, 2017) (NTSC) BAC154
BRITTEN, B.: Billy Budd [Opera] (Teatro Real, 2017) (Blu-ray, Full-HD) BAC554

This is a great performance and production of a Britten masterpiece. Admirers of the composer will certainly find it to their liking and perhaps even those unfamiliar with Britten’s operas. © 2019 MusicWeb International



James A. Altena
Fanfare, May 2019

South African baritone Jacques Imbralio is wiry and acrobatic, which works well on stage to communicate Billy’s youthful energy.

…The experienced conducting of Ivor Bolton, who leads the Teatro Real de Madrid forces in a riveting account of a score rich in choral and orchestral music. © 2019 Fanfare Read complete review




William Hedley
MusicWeb International, April 2019

The cast is very strong indeed. Jacques Imbrailo’s assumption of Billy is well known to opera-goers, and he is on particularly strong form here.

I cannot fault the playing of the Madrid orchestra, and the chorus is magnificent. Ivor Bolton leads a performance which I find perfectly paced, with all the necessary dramatic points brought out without exaggeration.

On video, performances from Glyndebourne, with Imbrailo as Billy, and one made for television, with the wonderful Thomas Allen, are both excellent. This one is just as fine, and many will prefer it. © 2019 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Allan Altman
American Record Guide, March 2019

BRITTEN, B.: Billy Budd [Opera] (Teatro Real, 2017) (NTSC) BAC154
BRITTEN, B.: Billy Budd [Opera] (Teatro Real, 2017) (Blu-ray, Full-HD) BAC554

Of the three principals, it is Brindley Sherratt, as a nuanced and richly characterized Claggart, who most consistently articulates the meaning of the words without losing the poetry of the music.

The eminent conductor Ivor Bolton favors slower tempos than I’m used to. But he uses this broader approach to introduce details of coloring and phrasing that the orchestra executes beautifully. © 2019 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Klassisk, February 2019

Ivor Bolton trims the Spanish orchestra and choir to a sharp and sounding top performance. Very recommend. © 2019 Klassisk




Santiago Martín Bermúdez
Scherzo, February 2019

…an especially beautiful and successful film © 2019 Scherzo




Lewis J Whittington
ConcertoNet.com, January 2019

BRITTEN, B.: Billy Budd [Opera] (Teatro Real, 2017) (NTSC) BAC154
BRITTEN, B.: Billy Budd [Opera] (Teatro Real, 2017) (Blu-ray, Full-HD) BAC554

Conductor Ivor Bolton ignites Britten’s score, the detailing and the orchestral thrust from every angle, luminous. The supporting players, and of course, the large Teatro de Madrid Choristers prove to be more than up to the tasks, giving rousing vocal and physical performances.

Jacques Imbrailo’s performance as Billy Budd is simply electrifying. © 2019 ConcertoNet.com Read complete review



Prostoo Muzyce, January 2019

This recording proves that ‘Billy Budd’ is an integral part of the operatic classics of the twentieth century. © 2019 Prostoo Muzyce



Opera, January 2019

BRITTEN, B.: Billy Budd [Opera] (Teatro Real, 2017) (NTSC) BAC154
BRITTEN, B.: Billy Budd [Opera] (Teatro Real, 2017) (Blu-ray, Full-HD) BAC554

The Real’s music director Ivor Bolton obtains a performance of thrilling power as well as finely observed detail, with consistently excellent playing from the orchestra and overwhelming singing from the chorus. © 2019 Opera




BBC Music Magazine, December 2018

BRITTEN, B.: Billy Budd [Opera] (Teatro Real, 2017) (NTSC) BAC154
BRITTEN, B.: Billy Budd [Opera] (Teatro Real, 2017) (Blu-ray, Full-HD) BAC554

The outstanding central performances in a production, superbly conducted by Ivor Bolton, which brought me close to tears. © 2018 BBC Music Magazine



Richard Fairman
Gramophone, November 2018

BRITTEN, B.: Billy Budd [Opera] (Teatro Real, 2017) (NTSC) BAC154
BRITTEN, B.: Billy Budd [Opera] (Teatro Real, 2017) (Blu-ray, Full-HD) BAC554

The Madrid chorus does itself proud, laying bare how brutal daily life on board ship is with no sign of respite on the horizon. The final scene of this Billy Budd, grandly staged, sturdily sung, is as powerful as it gets. © 2018 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone





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