Le Monde called it the best opera since Wozzeck. This performance of George Benjamin’s Written on Skin is quite simply essential listening.
A husband, a wife, an artist, and a passion with consequences beyond imagination. ‘This is the best opera written for twenty years’ declared Le Monde, and this concert version, re-uniting performers from the Royal Opera’s sensational 2013 production, is an unmissable climax to our George Benjamin Focus.
'Possibly the most talked-about new opera of the decade, Written On Skin is fast becoming a contemporary classic. In this concert staging, the composer conducts and Barbara Hannigan and Christopher Purves reprise the roles they premiered in 2012; prompting Richard Morrison of The Times to write that ‘George Benjamin has written nothing better than this dark, erotic, violent and troubling opera — and that’s saying something’. The opera was specifically written for the Mahler Chamber Orchestra with their distinctive sound in mind, and this performance will allow the subtleties of the work’s exquisite scoring to be fully revealed in the concert hall.
Watch this excerpt from Act II of the opera, performed in 2012 at the Aix-en-Provence festival.
Listen to our podcast below, with interviews from George Benjamin and counter-tenor Iestyn Davies.
Programme & Performers
George BenjaminWritten on Skin Text by Martin Crimp Concert performance Directed by Benjamin Davis
Mahler Chamber Orchestra George Benjamin conductor Christopher Purves The Protector Barbara Hannigan Agnès Tim Mead Angel 1 / The Boy Victoria Simmonds Angel 2 / Marie Robert Murray Angel 3 / John
This performance is approximately 95 minutes, with no interval. Latecomers will only be admitted at the end of Part 1.
Written on Skin was commissioned by the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, De Nederlandse Opera (Amsterdam), Théâtre du Capitole (Toulouse), Royal Opera House Covent Garden (London), Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino
Performed by arrangement with Faber Music Ltd, London.