Wednesday 19 June 2013

New George Benjamin and Martin Crimp opera

George Benjamin, credit Nimbus Records
Great news indeed. Following on from the success of George Benjamin's opera Written on Skin the Royal Opera has commissioned a new opera from Benjamin and librettist Martin Crimp for the main stage at Covent Garden. The bad news is that we will have to wait until Spring 2018. Their superb opera Written on Skin was a co-commission between a group of European opera houses including the Aix-en-Provence Festival and the Royal Opera House, the work was premiered at Aix-en-Provence last year and received its UK premiere at Covent Garden earlier this year. Its is anticipated that the new work will also be a co-commission but the Royal Opera House has said that it will receive its premiere at Covent Garden. (see my interview with George Benjamin and my review of Written on Skin at Covent Garden)

Benjamin and Crimp's first opera was the chamber piece, Into the Little Hill, a work which was very highly received which meant that their second opera Written on Skin was very hotly anticipated. They successfully navigated the difficult transition from first opera to second opera with great poise, and managed to come up with another work which showed a superb grasp on the essentials of the genre and had most critics grasping for superlatives. It will be interesting to see what they come up with, and personally I can hardly wait.

Further productions of Written on Skin are planned in Germany and Switzerland along with the work's USA premiere. The work has already been issued on Cd (see my review) and the Covent Garden performances were recorded for issue by Opus Arte on DVD and Blu-ray in 2014. The work will be revived at Covent Garden in 2017.

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