A Britten Collection DVD Set

Outstanding singers, conductors and directors come together in five diverse but compelling operas by Benjamin Britten. The turbulent, isolated fishing community of Peter Grimes is transposed to a merciless 1980s society in Richard Jones’s production, where mutual distrust and dislike have appalling consequences. An ‘outstanding’ Sarah Connolly (The Guardian) stars in The Rape of Lucretia, navigating this difficult tale with superb poise and supported by acclaimed baritone Christopher Maltman in the role of Prince Tarquinius. Billy Budd is grippingly staged aboard the claustrophobic HMS Indomitable, with Jacques Imbrailo portraying the troubled sailor and John Mark Ainsley as the tormented Captain Vere in the 2010 Glyndebourne Festival Opera production by Michael Grandage. More light-hearted is the Royal Opera staging of Gloriana, penned by Britten to celebrate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Focussing on the first Queen Elizabeth’s stormy relationship with the Earl of Essex, the production features Susan Bullock as the monarch and Toby Spence as the hot-headed and ultimately treacherous Essex. Finally, Edward Gardner conducts English National Opera in Deborah Warner’s highly acclaimed production of Death in Venice. John Graham-Hall stars as the ageing Gustav von Aschenbach, whose attraction for a beautiful young Polish boy has fatal consequences. These productions from some of the world’s best opera houses offer five masterful performances that are an ideal way to experience the music of Benjamin Britten. 

Peter Grimes (La Scala, Milan)
Peter Grimes: John Graham-Hall 
Ellen Orford: Susan Gritton 
Captain Balstrode: Christopher Purves 
Orchestra and Chorus of Teatro alla Scala
Conductor: Robin Ticciati 
Director: Richard Jones 
Year: 2012

The Rape of Lucretia (ENO)
Lucretia: Sarah Connolly 
Tarquinius: Christopher Maltman 
Female Chorus: Orla Boylan 
Male Chorus: John Mark Ainsley 
Orchestra of English National Opera
Conductor: Paul Daniel
Director: David McVicar 
Year: 2001

Billy Budd (Glyndebourne Festival)
Captain Vere: John Mark Ainsley 
Billy Budd: Jacques Imbrailo 
Claggart: Philip Ens 
Glyndebourne Chorus
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: Mark Elder 
Director: Michael Grandage 
Year: 2010

Gloriana (Royal Opera)
Elizabeth I: Susan Bullock 
Earl of Essex: Toby Spence 
Countess of Essex: Patricia Bardon
Lady Rich: Kate Royal
Mountjoy: Mark Stone 
Royal Opera Chorus
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House
Conductor: Paul Daniel 
Director: Richard Jones 
Year: 2013
Find out more about the production

Death in Venice (ENO)
Gustav von Aschenbach: John Graham-Hall 
Traveller/Elderly Fop/Gondolier/Barber/Hotel Manager/Player/Dionysus: Andrew Shore 
Apollo: Tim Mead 
Tadzio: Sam Zaldivar 
Orchestra and Chorus of English National Opera
Conductor: Edward Gardner
Director: Deborah Warner 
Year: 2013

Picture: 16:9
Sound: PCM stereo / DTS 5.1 / DD 2.0
Format: NTSC
Region code: 0 worldwide
Running time: 817 mins (7 DVDs)
Subtitles: EN/FR/DE/IT/ES/KO/JA