Billy Budd, Barbican, London

BillyBudd.pngBy Andrew Clark [Financial Times, 11 December 2007]
Itís hard to remember a closer crop of Britten operas in London. The past week has seen Glyndebourneís touring Albert Herring, English National Operaís The Turn of the Screw and concerts of Owen Wingrave and Billy Budd. All this is testimony to Brittenís enduring appeal, but the reasons for it are insufficiently appreciated. Yes, he was brilliant at finding the right musical language to dramatise the action. But he also had a nose for subjects and texts that would suit him ñ a skill todayís composers seem to have lost.