As part of the celebrations of Britten’s centenary year, Peggy Reynolds explores one of his best-loved works – Billy Budd. With contributions from Sir Thomas Allen, who introduces us to the character of Budd and sets the drama into historical context, against the backdrop of the French revolutionary wars. From Ellie Stedall, who tells us more about the source of the libretto – a short novella by the American writer Herman Melville – which explores ideas of free will, conscience and the fugitive nature of truth. And from the music writer Gavin Plumley, who celebrates the huge range of musical styles and textures found in Billy Budd and the unique soundworld created by Britten’s all-male cast.
Producer: Mair Bosworth for Festival 2013