the Billy Budd of Teddy Tahu Rhodes is robust. his is a physical performance. he clambers up & down the rigging at heights that wd make me wobbly. & when he removes his shirt all genders in the audience sigh. but of course this is Benjamin Britten. so he must be able to sing & sing well. & that he does.
this is probably the gayest production I've seen at Santa Fe Opera. every man on stage appears to love Billy. his mates are always touching him. & the officers have other ways of signifying emotions from like to lust. Claggart -- well sung by Peter Rose -- is a sexual bully who keeps Billy's kerchief as a sort of fetish. it eventually passes on to Vere -- William Burden -- who even as an old man appears to be able to smell Billy on the souvenir.
this is another powerful production of Britten to add to the SFO list.