Bass James Morris has virtually owned the role of Claggart at the Met, but his voice has lost strength, especially at the low end. He etched a subdued portrait of a corrupt soul who cannot tolerate the presence of unalloyed goodness in the world.
There were many strong contributions from the all-male cast, starting with the chorus, whose role in this opera is vital. The fine trio of officers consisted of baritone Dwayne Croft — a former Billy himself — and bass-baritones Kyle Ketelson and the debuting Ryan McKinny. Tenor Keith Jameson was impressive as the Novice, the weak-willed sailor who does Claggart's dirty work.
David Robertson, making a too-infrequent appearance, conducted the Met orchestra in an energetic and moving performance of Britten's score, which is filled with surging melodic themes amid its spiky dissonances.
An AP Entertainment Review