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Robert Cummings
, 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



Huntley Dent
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



Robert Cummings
MusicWeb International, March 2019

…Conductor Ivor Bolton, who not only seems always to select the right tempo but to enliven the music as well with spirit so that no moment sounds pedestrian or inconsequential. He understands that Britten, like Prokofiev, a composer of almost entirely disparate artistic sensibilities, often put the orchestra on equal footing with the singers in his operas. That said, Bolton never allows the orchestra greater prominence than it deserves, in the end managing consistently to find a good balance in the sonic field. Speaking of the orchestra, its players turn in fine work throughout the performance, thus capping a most successful effort. © 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




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



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



Roy Westbrook
MusicWeb International, December 2018

The cast is a strong one, the leads among the top choices for their roles in the world. Toby Spence’s Vere is vocally splendid, musically intelligent, and histrionically moving. …Jacques Imbrailo’s superbly sung and acted Billy is familiar from his magnificent Glyndebourne account, and here he sounds equally inside the role…

Ivor Bolton is clearly a master of the score, and the Orchestra of the Teatro Real are very good, if not quite outstanding…

Direction, lighting and editing are a triumph, among the best I have seen for any filmed opera. © 2018 MusicWeb International Read complete review




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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