• The American Staged Premiere of Written on Skin

    It's been announced that George Benjamin's spectacular contemporary opera Written on Skin will have its American fully staged premiere in New York City on August 11, 13, and 15 at the Koch Theater (one of the Lincoln Center venues) as part of the Mostly Mozart festival. The production is a revival imported from the Aix-en-Provence original (2012) directed by Katie Mitchell and features most of the original cast including Opera Lively interviewees Barbara Hannigan and Christopher Purves, with the contralto role of The Boy being taken by another one of our interviewees, Tim Mead.

    The cast for the Lincoln Center show in the principal roles - Barbara, Chris, and Tim

    Ticket sales haven't started yet. We'll update this article with a link to tickets when available.

    Alan Gilbert will conduct the Mahler Chamber Orchestra (which played in Aix-en-Provence at the world premiere). The organizations co-producing this show are the New York Philharmonic and Lincoln Center. Since the NY Phil is in summer break at the time after their busy summer tour, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra will step in.

    Photo by Opera Lively of Ms. Mitchell's staging

    Opera Lively will be in attendance. We are about to publish the full guidebook to the opera (with authorization for worldwide distribution from the composer's publishers Faber Music, Inc.) which includes the full text and the interviews above, as well as the interviews with George Benjamin the composer and Martin Crimp, the author of the text (Mr. Crimp prefers the word "text" to the word "libretto" as he explains in his short interview with us).

    The opera has had its concert American premiere at Tanglewood Festival last year, attended and reviewed by Opera Lively when I had the pleasure of meeting the brilliant composer.

    Photo by Opera Lively of the Tanglewood American Premiere; George Benjamin on the right

    Photo by Opera Lively - Luiz Gazzola on the left, George Benjamin on the right

    I personally consider it one of the top 20 operas of all time (no kidding) and the best contemporary opera ever written. It's been released on CD and blu-ray.

    The blu-ray (and also DVD) by OpusArte are available on Amazon: click (here).

    The CD by Nimbus Record is (here).


    While you wait for Opera Lively Press' guidebook (coming soon on paperback and Kindle e-book) you can read the interviews online:

    George Benjamin, composer: [here]

    Barbara Hannigan, soprano, in the leading role of Agnès: [here]

    Christopher Purves, bass-baritone, in the leading role of The Protector: [here]

    Tim Mead, in the leading role of The Boy: [here]

    Martin Crimp, playwright, author of the text: [here]

    Tammy Coil, mezzo, in the role of Marie at the Tanglewood performance: [here]


    Also you can consult our extensive coverage of the piece:

    Initial thread with the review of the Aix-en-Provence premiere and extensive information on the opera: [here]

    Review of the Tanglewood US premiere: [here]


    This is an event not to be missed - believe me, it is simply sublime.

    This YouTube clip contains an Act II excerpt of the Aix-en-Provence original show, featuring Barbara Hannigan as Agnès and Bejun Mehta as The Boy:


    The Lincoln Center and the NY Phil will continue to serve contemporary operatic fare in the future with two other operas. Next year it will be Gerald Barry's The Importance of Being Ernest on June 2 and 4, 2016 at the Rose Theater with a chamber orchestra made of NY Phil musicians conducted by Ilan Volkov. 2017 will bring another contemporary opera that hasn't been announced.

    Not to stay behind, the Met will stage another favorite contemporary opera of mine, L'Amour de Loin by Kaija Saariaho, in the 2016-17 season.


    If you came to this page through a link from another site, please consider exploring our exclusive interviews (Joyce DiDonato's, Anna Caterina Antonacci's, Luca Pisaroni's, Thomas Hampson's, Piotr Beczala's, scholar Dr. Philip Gossett's, Susan Graham's, Jay Hunter Morris', and stage director Thaddeus Strassberger's and many others are especially good, among by now 155 artists, scholars, conductors, stage directors, etc.), news, and articles by clicking on the "Home Page - Articles and Interviews" tab above or using our new clickable content index [here], or the Section Widget on the top left of the Home page (click on the + sign for Exclusive Interviews and the full list is shown); our very active discussion Forum (of course, by clicking on the Forum tab - and please notice that over there we also have an area with content in Spanish, German, French, Italian, and Portuguese).

    And then if you like what you see, consider registering as a member so that you can post your own comments (it's entirely free and will remain so) and please use our social media share buttons to "like" our site and "tweet" about it to your opera-loving friends.

    Thank you for visiting Opera Lively!


    You might consider the purchase of ours books "Opera Lively - The Interviews" volumes 1 and 2 - full announcement and links to sales points [here] for volume 1 and [here] for volume 2, just released. Also don't miss the very funny book by famed Met tenor Jay Hunter Morris, "Diary of a Redneck Opera Zinger" published by Opera Lively Press; click [here]. Also on sale, our guidebook to Berlioz's Les Troyens: click [here].

    Bookmark our site and come back for more - several new and exciting interviews are always coming to Opera Lively - recent ones have included Greek National Opera's principal conductor Myron Michailidis, the great mezzo Sarah Connolly, Russian soprano Olga Peretyatko, star tenor Juan Diego Flórez, British countertenor Tim Mead, American soprano/mezzo Isabel Leonard, Dutch soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek, and others.


    British baritone Christopher Maltman, American tenor Brandon Jovanovich, and American tenor Paul Appleby (for the second time), all of these already completed, pending revisions/approval.We are scheduled next to interview Elina Garanca and Ailyn Pérez at the Met in February 2015

    This article was originally published in forum thread: The American Staged Premiere of Written on Skin started by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva) View original post

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