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British opera premieres at Russia's Bolshoi

Friday, November 25, 2016 - 01:44

The English National Opera presents a joint production of Benjamin Britten's opera 'Billy Budd' at Bolshoi theatre in Moscow. Jayson Mansaray reports.

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One of Britain's most beloved composers at one of Russia's most loved theatres. The Bolshoi in Moscow will premiere Benjamin Britten's opera 'Billy Budd' It's co-produced with the English National Opera and Deutsche Oper Berlin and stage directed by David Alden, he says despite the sad storyline the melody makes it a sweeter affair. SOUNDBITE: (English) STAGE DIRECTOR, DAVID ALDEN, SAYING: "One could maybe say it's ultimately a pessimistic, dark view of human nature, but it is so full of passion and love and beautiful, touching music. It is the music, it is Britten's music which lifts this fairly tragic and dark story up into something that is actually joyous." Billy Budd had its first production at London's Royal Opera House in 1951; with his partner Peter Pears in the lead Benjamin Britten received standing ovations. In this version Iurii Samoilov takes the lead role - and the challenges that come with it. SOUNDBITE: (Russian) BARITONE, IURII SAMOILOV, SINGING ROLE OF BILLY BUDD, SAYING: "I had to perform some acrobatic stunts, which you will see in the first act of this performance, for the first time. With the help of assistants I am standing on people's shoulders, they are rotating me in the air. Then we have a fighting scene which we practised with the help of stage combat instructors." 'Billy Budd' at the Bolshoi is a chance to see one of Britain's most revered opera composers on one Russia's most famous stages.

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British opera premieres at Russia's Bolshoi

Friday, November 25, 2016 - 01:44