Arjun Plays Rockwood Music Hall
Sasha Cooke with Greenwich Village Orchestra

Coffee Conversation: Glyndebourne's David Pickard on Billy Budd at BAM

Billy Budd, Glyndebourne, BAM

For those who haven't yet seen it, the Glyndebourne Festival's production of Benjamin Britten's 1951 opera Billy Budd, which ends its week-long run at BAM tonight, is a wonder of stagecraft and performance. Sir Mark Elder leads the London Philharmonic Orchestra and a cast of 50 extraordinary singers—including Brindley Sherratt (Claggart), Jacques Imbrailo (Billy), and especially Mark Padmore (Captain Vere), whom Tony rightly says "gives one of the most memorable performances I have seen in opera." 

After seeing Sunday night's performance, I had the chance to sit down with Glyndebourne's General Director, David Pickard, where we discussed Britten's legacy and the importance of bringing this production of Billy Budd to New York during the Britten centennial.

Audio excerpts from our conversation below.  

On Bringing Britten to New York

On Britten in Britain vs. the U.S.

On Michael Grandage's Production

On Partnering with BAM 

On Streaming Glyndebourne's Performances

On Britten and Glyndebourne

BTW, tickets are still available for tonight's performance at the BAM box office or online. More pics on the photo page