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New Production Premiere of George Benjamin's Written on Skin at Opera Philadelphia

Feb. 08, 2018

New Production Premiere of George Benjamin's <em>Written on Skin</em> at Opera Philadelphia

Opera Philadelphia presents a new production and Philadelphia premiere of George Benjamin's Written on Skin, a modern classic hailed as “the century's most successful new opera" (Financial Times), “truly a 21st-century masterpiece” (The Times of London), and a “brutal and ravishing score” that will “eat your heart out” (NPR). Corrado Rovaris conducts and William Kerley directs this exciting new production with a splendid cast including Lauren Snouffer as Agnès, Mark Stone as The Protector, and Anthony Roth Costanzo as First Angel and Boy. Performances take place at Philadelphia's Academy of Music on February 9, 11, 16, and 18.

Teaming with dramatist Martin Crimp, his collaborator on the chamber opera Into the Little Hill, Benjamin has adapted the ancient Occitan legend of the 12th-century troubadour Guillem de Cabestany, who seduces a jealous man’s wife only to have his head severed and his heart fed to the lover. A story of adultery, jealousy and vengeance, Crimp creates a gripping narrative out of this gruesome tale that also deals with themes of emancipation, identity, literature and art,

Written on Skin premiered at the Festival International d'Art Lyrique d'Aix-en-Provence in 2012 where it received overwhelming critical acclaim. Since then, the work has been performed throughout Europe and North America, including at the Royal Opera House in London, in concert with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Swedish Opera, and at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City.

(Excerpt from George Benjamin's Written on Skin/Festival d'Aix-en-Provence 2012/Mahler Chamber Orchestra/George Benjamin, conductor)

George Benjamin

Written on Skin (2012)

opera in three parts

text (Eng) by Martin Crimp

for soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor, baritone and countertenor

3(2.pic, 3.pic & afl).2.2.bcl(cl).cbcl.2(2.cbsn)-4.4(I.ptpt).3.1-4perc-harp-glass harmonica–bass viola da gamba-str
ca. 95’