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Billy Budd in San Francisco honors Melville at 200
September 7, 2019
The San Francisco Opera returns to Britten’s 1962 high seas thriller Billy Budd, with a production new to the West Coast – Michael Grandage’s 2010 staging for Covent Garden, which was also a hit at BAM in 2014. Grandage said his goal was to leave the surging sound of the sea to Britten and to focus his effort on the “claustrophobic, violent, capricious shipboard world” that caused Billy’s hanging. The performances mark Melville’s bicentennial, which is also the centennial of the discovery of the novella Billy Budd among Melville’s papers. Repeat performances through Sept. 22.