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23 May 2010

Billy Budd / Così fan tutte, Glyndebourne, East Sussex

By Andrew Clark [Financial Times, 23 May 2010]

When Benjamin Britten wrote Billy Budd, he created great art, not closet autobiography. The main events of his opera unfold in 1797, at sea, on a man of war. All neat and tidy? If so, we may conveniently ignore the link between Britten’s homosexuality and the fact that two of the opera’s main characters, Captain Vere and John Claggart, have tortured feelings of attraction for Billy, the beautiful young man in their midst.

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