September 26, 2004
Britten's Billy Budd returned to San Francisco Opera for the second time in twenty years. Willy Decker's sedate and elegant production was designed by Wolfgang Gussmann and staged by Sabine Hartmannshenn. The music was certainly more charming than Britten's work Death in Venice, particularly the absurd duet "Don't Like The French!," whose words include "hoppity-skippity ways." No one less than E.M. Forster wrote the libretto. Baritone Nathan Gunn in the title role did rather well, he is also a good actor.