Death in Venice by B. Britten, from Teatro Real, 2014. Directed by Willy Decker, conductor Alejo Pérez, starring Anthony Roth Costanzo, Duncan Rock, John Daszak, Leigh Melrose and Tomasz Borczyk.
Adapted from Thomas Mann’s 1912 novella, Death in Venice was Benjamin Britten’s last opera, the composer insisting on its completion while delaying badly needed heart surgery. The starkly simple narrative of a famous but failing novelist travelling to Venice to seek inspiration only to find unhealthy infatuation and deadly cholera is given a chamber-like precision and clarity through Britten’s score, becoming a haunting drama filled with musical symbols, disquieting mystery and richly evocative atmospheres of Venice and its strange characters. Willy Decker’s Teatro Real production was described as ‘one of his most brilliant stage works… a remarkable technical feat. Performed in English and subtitled in English, French, Japanese and Korean