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Opus Arte

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

    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