Written on Skin

Benjamin at the Barbican with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra

19 March 2016 / 19:30

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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 Benjamin Written 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.

Part of Benjamin at the Barbican

This event is part of:
Benjamin at the Barbican

Promoted by the Barbican

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.


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