George Benjamin: Written on skin - World Premiere
Opera in three parts, original text by Martin Crimp
Live on medici.tv: George Benjamin's new opera, performed as a world premiere at the Aix-en-Provence Festival in France!
A rich lord welcomes into his house the artist he has commissioned to complete a book of illuminations. This work, he hopes, will immortalise the ruthless practice of his political power and the calm contentment brought to him by domestic order, embodied in the humility and childish obedience of his wife Agnes.
However the creation of the book becomes a catalyst for his wife’s rebellion. After a first successful attempt at seduction, Agnes uses her new intimacy with the illuminator to change the very content of the book and so forces her husband to see her as she really is. This opens the path for an extraordinary and final act of provocation.
Written on Skin, based on an Occitan legend from the 12th century and performed under the cold gaze of 21st-century angels, explores the explosive consequences of self-discovery and the limitations of the power that one human being can exert on another.
Commissioned by the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence and other co-producing opera houses, this world premiere was created by two of the most prominent artists of our time.
Commissioned by the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, the Nederlandse Opera Amsterdam, the Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden London and the Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino.
The opera will be broadcast live on Arte Live Web and medici.tv's websites.
© Picture: Written on Skin – George Benjamin – World premiere – Festival d’Aix-en-Provence 2012 @ArtcomArt/P.Victor
In the press:"Magic and irresistible [...] It is the best opera written in the last twenty years".
Renaud Machart, Le Monde
"Written on Skin is close to be a masterpiece".
Christian Merlin, Le Figaro
"Sensual, evocative and gloriously singable".
Linked event :
Vicki Mortimer costume designer, scenography
Jon Clark lightings
Christopher Purves (The Protector)
Barbara Hannigan (Agnès)
Bejun Mehta (Angel 1 – The Boy)
Victoria Simmonds (Angel 2 – Marie)
Allan Clayton (Angel 3 – John)
Mahler Chamber Orchestra
Movie director : Corentin Leconte
Location : Grand Théâtre de Provence (Aix-en-Provence, France)
Production : Produced by Bel Air Media - Festival d'Aix-en-Provence, and with the participation of France Télévisions, MUSEEC/medici.tv and Arte Live Web.