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Billy Budd (Opera by Benjamin Britten)

Billy Budd (Opera by Benjamin Britten)

Benjamin Britten
Opera in two acts
Libretto by Edward Morgan Forster and Eric Crozier based on the novel of the same name by Herman Melville
Music Director: William Lacey
Stage Director: David Alden
Set Designer: Paul Stainberg
Costume Designer: Constance Hoffman
Lighting Designer: Adam Silverman
Movement Director: Maxine Braham
Fight Coordinator: Jessica Jackson-Smith
Chief Chorus Master: Valery Borisov
Co-production with English National Opera.
Premiered at the Bolshoi Theatre on November 25, 2016.

SYNOPSIS

Prologue
Captain Vere, an old man, is haunted by a moment in his life when he was tested and found wanting.

ACT I
Scene 1 On board HMS Indomitable, a British man-of-war, during the French wars of 1797
Parties of seamen are at work. A novice seaman collides accidentally with the Bosun and later slips on the deck; the Bosun orders him to be flogged.
A boarding party returns from a passing merchant ship, the Rights o" Man, with three men impressed for naval service. Master-at-Arms John Claggart interviews the men. Only the last, Billy Budd, pleases the officers: he is a strong and enthusiastic sailor whose one defect is an occasional stammer. He bids a joyful welcome to his new life and an impassioned farewell to the Rights o" Man. Misunderstanding his farewell for a revolutionary declaration, the officers are alarmed and order to clear the deck.
Claggart, who is responsible for discipline, is instructed to keep an eye on Billy. He sets his corporal, Squeak, to watch and harass him.
The Novice returns from the flogging. The new recruits, appalled by the sight, are assured by Donald and Dansker that no one can escape his share of punishment. They warn against Claggart while showing their devotion to Captain Vere. Billy is attracted to the goodness of Vere and, along with the other men, swears to die for him if necessary.

Scene 2 Captain Vere"s cabin, a week later
Vere is reading alone at night. He sends for two officers to share a drink with him. They discuss the recent naval mutinies at Spithead and the Nore. Vere discounts their fears about Billy"s influence on the men, who are heard singing below decks. Another officer arrives to announce that enemy land has been sighted.

Scene 3 Below decks, the same evening
The men are off-duty and singing sea shanties. Billy discovers Squeak meddling with his kit-bag and they fight until Squeak is disarmed. Claggart arrives, has Squeak arrested and congratulates Billy. The men turn in for the night.
Claggart reveals his determination to destroy Billy. He forces the Novice to try and bribe Billy into leading a mutiny.
Billy wakes from a dream of drowning to hear the Novice"s proposal. In his fury at the idea of mutiny he can only stammer; the Novice runs away. Dansker realizes that Claggart is behind it all, but Billy refuses to believe him, dreaming instead of promotion.

ACT II
Scene 1 Some days later

Mist surrounds the ship. Claggart begins telling Vere that there is a dangerous seaman aboard, when a French ship is sighted. The crew are called to action stations; a shot is fired, but the wind fails, the mist returns and the chase is abandoned.
Claggart returns to Vere; he accuses Billy of planning a mutiny. Vere, disbelieving him, orders both men to his cabin.

Scene 2 Captain"s Vere"s cabin, a few minutes later
Billy arrives expecting promotion, only to be confronted by Claggart"s false accusation of inciting mutiny. Finding himself unable to speak in his defence, Billy hits out and Claggart falls dead. Vere is horrified. Sending Billy into an adjoining room, he summons his officers to an immediate trial, knowing that the penalty for striking a superior officer is death. Billy is brought before the drumhead court martial. Aware of the injustice of the death sentence in this instance, the officers appeal to Vere for guidance; he refuses to advise them and they reluctantly resolve that Billy should be hanged at dawn. Vere knows that he could have saved Billy. He goes to tell him the verdict.

Scene 3 The next morning, shortly before dawn
Billy awaits his execution; Dansker brings him food and drink.

Scene 4 On deck, four o"clock the same morning
The crew assemble to witness the hanging. Billy"s final words are "Starry Vere, God bless you!", a shout which is echoed by the crew. But after the hanging they turn on the officers in anger and resentment. Ordered below, their rebellion subsides into sullen obedience.

Epilogue
Vere, an old man, knows he has failed Billy and himself: he could have saved him. He receives Billy"s last words as a kind of benediction, redeeming him at the last.

New Stage

The Young Person s Guide to the Orchestra. Le carnaval des animaux

The Young Person s Guide to the Orchestra. Le carnaval des animaux

Camille Saint-Saens. Benjamin Britten
Music Director: Anton Grishanin
Director: Alexei Frandetti
Premiered on September 24, 2017

New Stage

The Young Person s Guide to the Orchestra. Le carnaval des animaux

The Young Person s Guide to the Orchestra. Le carnaval des animaux

Camille Saint-Saens. Benjamin Britten
Music Director: Anton Grishanin
Director: Alexei Frandetti
Premiered on September 24, 2017

New Stage

The Nutcracker (Ballet by Pyotr Tchaikovsky)

The Nutcracker (Ballet by Pyotr Tchaikovsky)

Ballet in two acts
Libretto by Yuri Grigorovich after the fairy-tale of the same name by Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann, ideas from the scenario by Marius Petipa used
Choreographer: Yuri Grigorovich
Designer: Simon Virsaladze
Music Director: Gennadi Rozhdestvensky

SYNOPSIS

Act I
Guests are gathering for a Christmas party at the Stahlbaum home. Among them are Drosselmeyer, godfather to Marie and Fritz, the Stahlbaums' children. He has brought them a wonderful present: a funny Nutcracker.
The children wait with impatience for when at long last they will be shown the Christmas tree and the presents. The long awaited moment comes: the handsomely adorned Christmas tree is presented to the assembled company.
Drosselmeyer suddenly appears disguised as a magician: he is not recognized by the children. Their unknown guest's ability to make their toys come alive delights the children but, as everything that is clad in mystery, it involuntarily arouses their fear. In order to calm them down, Drosselmeyer takes off his mask and the chil dren now recognize their beloved godfather. Marie wants to play with the wonderful dolls which have come alive, but they have already been tidied away. To comfort Marie, Drosselmeyer gives her the Nutcracker-Doll. Marie takes a great liking to this awkward, funny creature.
Marie's brother Fritz, who is a great tease and very naughty, acci dentally breaks the doll. With great tenderness, Marie comforts her injured Nutcracker and rocks it backwards and forwards. Fritz and his friends now put on mouse masks and tease poor Marie.
The guests appear from an adjoining room. After the final, ceremonial Grossvater dance, they all leave.
At night the room where the Christmas tree stands is bathed in moonlight. It looks mysterious and full of magical secrets. Overcoming her fears, Marie has come to the room to visit her ‘sick' Nutcracker-Doll. She kisses the doll and rocks it.
Drosselmeyer now appears. But instead of her kind godfather, he has turned into a wizard. At a wave of his hand everything around them is transformed: the walls of the room slide back, the Christmas tree starts to grow. And all the toys come alive and grow together with the tree.
Suddenly, mice creep out from under the floor boards, led by the Mouse King. The dolls are panic-stricken and thrown into confusion. The Nutcracker's quick wits and bravery save the day: lining up the lead soldiers, he boldly leads them out to do battle with the mice forces.
However, the forces are unequal, the advantage is on the side of the evil mice. The Nutcracker is left alone to face the Mouse King and his suite. Marie is out of her mind with worry over the danger that threatens her doll. At this very moment, Drosselmeyer hands her a lighted candle and she throws it at the mice who scurry away helter-skelter.
The battle field empties. The only person left here is the Nutcracker who lies without moving on the floor. Marie, together with the dolls, hurries to his rescue. And now a miracle occurs...Before Marie stands a handsome youth, the Nutcracker-Prince. He walks forward to meet her.
The walls of the house disappear. Marie and her friends are standing under a star-studded sky, by a fairy-tale Christmas tree. Snowflakes go round in a magical dance. Marie and her Nutcracker-Prince, beckon, as if to a beautiful dream, to the twinkling star at the top of the Christmas tree. They climb into a magic boat and set off for the top of the tree. The dolls follow behind them.

Act II
Marie and Nutcracker-Prince are sailing in their magic boat through the Christmas tree kingdom. There are their friends, the dolls with them. The shining star is getting closer and closer. They are just about to reach the top of the tree when they are suddenly attacked by the mice and the Mouse King who have crept up behind them. Once again, the Nutcracker-Prince goes boldly into battle. Horribly frightened, Marie and the dolls watch the fight. The Nutcracker-Prince vanquishes the enemy. Joyous victory celebrations are underway. The dolls dance, the candles burn even brighter, the Christmas tree comes alive. The evil mice have been defeated. Marie and the Nutcracker-Prince are radiant with happiness - they have reached the kingdom of their dreams! But it appears all this was just a dream. Christmas Eve is over and with it all wonderful reveries. Marie, still in the thrall of the fabulous dream, is sitting at home by the Christmas tree, with the Nutcracker-Doll on her lap.

The Main Stage

Billy Budd (Opera by Benjamin Britten)

Billy Budd (Opera by Benjamin Britten)

Benjamin Britten
Opera in two acts
Libretto by Edward Morgan Forster and Eric Crozier based on the novel of the same name by Herman Melville
Music Director: William Lacey
Stage Director: David Alden
Set Designer: Paul Stainberg
Costume Designer: Constance Hoffman
Lighting Designer: Adam Silverman
Movement Director: Maxine Braham
Fight Coordinator: Jessica Jackson-Smith
Chief Chorus Master: Valery Borisov
Co-production with English National Opera.
Premiered at the Bolshoi Theatre on November 25, 2016.

SYNOPSIS

Prologue
Captain Vere, an old man, is haunted by a moment in his life when he was tested and found wanting.

ACT I
Scene 1 On board HMS Indomitable, a British man-of-war, during the French wars of 1797
Parties of seamen are at work. A novice seaman collides accidentally with the Bosun and later slips on the deck; the Bosun orders him to be flogged.
A boarding party returns from a passing merchant ship, the Rights o" Man, with three men impressed for naval service. Master-at-Arms John Claggart interviews the men. Only the last, Billy Budd, pleases the officers: he is a strong and enthusiastic sailor whose one defect is an occasional stammer. He bids a joyful welcome to his new life and an impassioned farewell to the Rights o" Man. Misunderstanding his farewell for a revolutionary declaration, the officers are alarmed and order to clear the deck.
Claggart, who is responsible for discipline, is instructed to keep an eye on Billy. He sets his corporal, Squeak, to watch and harass him.
The Novice returns from the flogging. The new recruits, appalled by the sight, are assured by Donald and Dansker that no one can escape his share of punishment. They warn against Claggart while showing their devotion to Captain Vere. Billy is attracted to the goodness of Vere and, along with the other men, swears to die for him if necessary.

Scene 2 Captain Vere"s cabin, a week later
Vere is reading alone at night. He sends for two officers to share a drink with him. They discuss the recent naval mutinies at Spithead and the Nore. Vere discounts their fears about Billy"s influence on the men, who are heard singing below decks. Another officer arrives to announce that enemy land has been sighted.

Scene 3 Below decks, the same evening
The men are off-duty and singing sea shanties. Billy discovers Squeak meddling with his kit-bag and they fight until Squeak is disarmed. Claggart arrives, has Squeak arrested and congratulates Billy. The men turn in for the night.
Claggart reveals his determination to destroy Billy. He forces the Novice to try and bribe Billy into leading a mutiny.
Billy wakes from a dream of drowning to hear the Novice"s proposal. In his fury at the idea of mutiny he can only stammer; the Novice runs away. Dansker realizes that Claggart is behind it all, but Billy refuses to believe him, dreaming instead of promotion.

ACT II
Scene 1 Some days later

Mist surrounds the ship. Claggart begins telling Vere that there is a dangerous seaman aboard, when a French ship is sighted. The crew are called to action stations; a shot is fired, but the wind fails, the mist returns and the chase is abandoned.
Claggart returns to Vere; he accuses Billy of planning a mutiny. Vere, disbelieving him, orders both men to his cabin.

Scene 2 Captain"s Vere"s cabin, a few minutes later
Billy arrives expecting promotion, only to be confronted by Claggart"s false accusation of inciting mutiny. Finding himself unable to speak in his defence, Billy hits out and Claggart falls dead. Vere is horrified. Sending Billy into an adjoining room, he summons his officers to an immediate trial, knowing that the penalty for striking a superior officer is death. Billy is brought before the drumhead court martial. Aware of the injustice of the death sentence in this instance, the officers appeal to Vere for guidance; he refuses to advise them and they reluctantly resolve that Billy should be hanged at dawn. Vere knows that he could have saved Billy. He goes to tell him the verdict.

Scene 3 The next morning, shortly before dawn
Billy awaits his execution; Dansker brings him food and drink.

Scene 4 On deck, four o"clock the same morning
The crew assemble to witness the hanging. Billy"s final words are "Starry Vere, God bless you!", a shout which is echoed by the crew. But after the hanging they turn on the officers in anger and resentment. Ordered below, their rebellion subsides into sullen obedience.

Epilogue
Vere, an old man, knows he has failed Billy and himself: he could have saved him. He receives Billy"s last words as a kind of benediction, redeeming him at the last.

New Stage

Billy Budd (Opera by Benjamin Britten)

Billy Budd (Opera by Benjamin Britten)

Benjamin Britten
Opera in two acts
Libretto by Edward Morgan Forster and Eric Crozier based on the novel of the same name by Herman Melville
Music Director: William Lacey
Stage Director: David Alden
Set Designer: Paul Stainberg
Costume Designer: Constance Hoffman
Lighting Designer: Adam Silverman
Movement Director: Maxine Braham
Fight Coordinator: Jessica Jackson-Smith
Chief Chorus Master: Valery Borisov
Co-production with English National Opera.
Premiered at the Bolshoi Theatre on November 25, 2016.

SYNOPSIS

Prologue
Captain Vere, an old man, is haunted by a moment in his life when he was tested and found wanting.

ACT I
Scene 1 On board HMS Indomitable, a British man-of-war, during the French wars of 1797
Parties of seamen are at work. A novice seaman collides accidentally with the Bosun and later slips on the deck; the Bosun orders him to be flogged.
A boarding party returns from a passing merchant ship, the Rights o" Man, with three men impressed for naval service. Master-at-Arms John Claggart interviews the men. Only the last, Billy Budd, pleases the officers: he is a strong and enthusiastic sailor whose one defect is an occasional stammer. He bids a joyful welcome to his new life and an impassioned farewell to the Rights o" Man. Misunderstanding his farewell for a revolutionary declaration, the officers are alarmed and order to clear the deck.
Claggart, who is responsible for discipline, is instructed to keep an eye on Billy. He sets his corporal, Squeak, to watch and harass him.
The Novice returns from the flogging. The new recruits, appalled by the sight, are assured by Donald and Dansker that no one can escape his share of punishment. They warn against Claggart while showing their devotion to Captain Vere. Billy is attracted to the goodness of Vere and, along with the other men, swears to die for him if necessary.

Scene 2 Captain Vere"s cabin, a week later
Vere is reading alone at night. He sends for two officers to share a drink with him. They discuss the recent naval mutinies at Spithead and the Nore. Vere discounts their fears about Billy"s influence on the men, who are heard singing below decks. Another officer arrives to announce that enemy land has been sighted.

Scene 3 Below decks, the same evening
The men are off-duty and singing sea shanties. Billy discovers Squeak meddling with his kit-bag and they fight until Squeak is disarmed. Claggart arrives, has Squeak arrested and congratulates Billy. The men turn in for the night.
Claggart reveals his determination to destroy Billy. He forces the Novice to try and bribe Billy into leading a mutiny.
Billy wakes from a dream of drowning to hear the Novice"s proposal. In his fury at the idea of mutiny he can only stammer; the Novice runs away. Dansker realizes that Claggart is behind it all, but Billy refuses to believe him, dreaming instead of promotion.

ACT II
Scene 1 Some days later

Mist surrounds the ship. Claggart begins telling Vere that there is a dangerous seaman aboard, when a French ship is sighted. The crew are called to action stations; a shot is fired, but the wind fails, the mist returns and the chase is abandoned.
Claggart returns to Vere; he accuses Billy of planning a mutiny. Vere, disbelieving him, orders both men to his cabin.

Scene 2 Captain"s Vere"s cabin, a few minutes later
Billy arrives expecting promotion, only to be confronted by Claggart"s false accusation of inciting mutiny. Finding himself unable to speak in his defence, Billy hits out and Claggart falls dead. Vere is horrified. Sending Billy into an adjoining room, he summons his officers to an immediate trial, knowing that the penalty for striking a superior officer is death. Billy is brought before the drumhead court martial. Aware of the injustice of the death sentence in this instance, the officers appeal to Vere for guidance; he refuses to advise them and they reluctantly resolve that Billy should be hanged at dawn. Vere knows that he could have saved Billy. He goes to tell him the verdict.

Scene 3 The next morning, shortly before dawn
Billy awaits his execution; Dansker brings him food and drink.

Scene 4 On deck, four o"clock the same morning
The crew assemble to witness the hanging. Billy"s final words are "Starry Vere, God bless you!", a shout which is echoed by the crew. But after the hanging they turn on the officers in anger and resentment. Ordered below, their rebellion subsides into sullen obedience.

Epilogue
Vere, an old man, knows he has failed Billy and himself: he could have saved him. He receives Billy"s last words as a kind of benediction, redeeming him at the last.

New Stage

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