In Review: Billy Budd

Opera News

BILLY BUDD, the second offering of San Francisco Opera’s 2019-20 season, exceeded all expectations (seen Sept. 7). Intensely theatrical, brilliantly musical and insightfully staged, Benjamin Britten’s seafaring drama returned to the War Memorial Opera House in an unforgettable performance. […] Philip Horst (Redburn), Wayne Tigges (Flint), and Christian Pursell (Ratcliffe) were well-matched as the officers serving under Vere.

San Francisco Opera Presents Benjamin Britten's BILLY BUDD

Broadway World

The ensemble cast features Philip Horst as Mr. Redburn, Wayne Tigges as Mr. Flint, current San Francisco Opera Adler Fellow Christian Pursell as Lieutenant Ratcliffe, Robert Brubaker as Red Whiskers, Brenton Ryan as a Novice, Adler Fellow Christopher Colmenero as Maintop, Matthew O'Neill as Squeak, John Brancy as Donald, Edward Nelson as Bosun, Sidney Outlaw as First Mate, Kenneth Overton as Second Mate, Eugene Villanueva as the Novice's Friend, Philip Skinner as Dansker and Hadleigh Adams as Arthur Jones.

John Chest & Christian Van Horn Headline San Francisco Opera’s ‘Billy Budd’

Operawire

The opera is set to star John Chest in the title role in his company debut alongside William Burden as Edward Fairfax Vere and Christian Van Horn as the villainous John Claggart. The ensemble cast will also feature Philip Horst as Mr. Redburn, Wayne Tigges as Mr. Flint, Christian Pursell as Lieutenant Ratcliffe, Robert Brubaker as Red Whiskers, Brenton Ryan as a Novice, Christopher Colmenero as Maintop, Matthew O’Neill as Squeak, John Brancy as Donald, Edward Nelson as Bosun, Sidney Outlaw as First Mate, Kenneth Overton as Second Mate, Eugene Villanueva as the Novice’s Friend, Philip Skinner as Dansker and Hadleigh Adams as Arthur Jones.

Opera Theatre Announces 2020 Season Repertory

Opera Theatre of Saint Louis

Sarah Mesko, who makes her Opera Theatre debut in the 2019 season as Ottavia in The Coronation of Poppea, sings the title role. In their OTSL debuts, Adam Smith and Christian Pursell will sing the roles of Don José and Escamillo, Carmen’s rival admirers. Former Gerdine Young Artist Erica Petrocelli sings her first principal role, Micaëla. Director Rodula Gaitanou and conductor Timothy Myers both make their OTSL premieres interpreting Bizet’s lush opera.

Schwabacher Recital Series Closes in Triumph

San Francisco Classical Voice

Second-year Adler Fellow Pursell, who has already appeared in four S.F. Opera productions — including as Sir Walter Raleigh in Roberto Devereux — had both his fellow singers and the audience enthralled, and at times in stitches, from Wolf’s “The Hunter” to Barber’s “Church Bell at Night” and hilarious “The Monk and His Cat.” JANOS GEREBEN