Iowa PBS Premieres Des Moines Metro Opera Presents Billy Budd

Set in 1797 during the Napoleonic Wars, “Billy Budd” transforms a British man-o-war into a floating world where there’s no escape from the clash of men’s virtues and the cost of human error. Experience Des Moines Metro Opera Presents Billy Budd, the world premiere of the new orchestration, Friday, September 29 at 8:30 p.m. exclusively on statewide IPTV.

One of opera’s most grandly scaled masterpieces, Benjamin Britten’s “Billy Budd” tells the story of the persecution and destruction of a pure-hearted young sailor by a predatory master-at-arms.

IPTV’s coverage includes behind-the-scenes footage and perspectives on the making of “Billy Budd,” the stage experience and the opera’s complex emotional themes. Interviews include DMMO General and Artistic Director Michael Egel, Conductor David Neely, Stage Director Kristine McIntyre and principal cast members.

“Billy Budd" is a true masterpiece,” said Craig Verm, the baritone featured in the title role. “It’s epic in its scope of onstage forces of orchestration, of story, of morality and of good and evil. It’s gripping. It’s magical.”

“Benjamin Britten is the most important opera composer of the last century,” said Egel. “It seems particularly appropriate for us to turn to one of his largest, most epic works, 'Billy Budd,' here at the occasion of our 45th anniversary.”

With more than 70 singers comprising the all-male cast, “Billy Budd” includes one of the largest casts of principal singers DMMO has ever seen in its now 45 seasons.

“Billy Budd” is performed in two acts and sung in English with English supertitles.