"Billy in the Darbies...and on Page, Stage, and Screen: Adaptations of Herman Melville's Billy Budd" MLA Jan. 2011, Los Angeles
"Billy in the Darbies...and on Page, Stage, and Screen: Adaptations of Herman Melville's Billy Budd"
A Panel Cosponsored by the Melville Society and Lyrica Society
In recognition of the 50th anniversary of Benjamin Britten's opera _Billy Budd_, this collaborative panel seeks 4–5 papers (of about 10 minutes each) examining Melville's Billy Budd vis-à-vis various adaptations of it—musical, cinematic, visual, and the like. What is at stake when adapting a literary work into a different medium? Are the expectations different with an unfinished work? Does Britten's revision of the opera improve it? How does Britten weave together the words and music for emphasis? How might one teach Billy Budd in conjunction with one or more adapted works? How can considering Billy Budd enable one to understand other adaptations of Melville's work? Is there an ideal way to adapt Melville's last, unfinished work?