On 21 October, George Benjamin’s lyric tale Into the Little Hill received its first staged performance in Hungary at Müpa, Budapest as part of Liszt Fest. The two solo parts were sung by Katalin Károlyi and Anna Molnár with Gergely Vajda conducting the 15 instrumentalists from UMZE Chamber Ensemble. The production was directed by Csaba Horváth working alongside the Forte Company in a performance that was paired with Vajda’s own Fuharosok (Transporters). This is the second time that Károlyi, UMZE and Vajda have worked together on this 40-minute work – all having been involved in the Hungarian premiere in 2014.
Into the Little Hill was the first of Benjamin’s close collaborations with Martin Crimp, whose text – based on the tale of the Pied Piper of Hamelin – resonates with timeless themes of abuse of power and paranoia.
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'Never one to waste a single note, Benjamin seems to have found his ideal collaborator in Crimp, whose resonant text is at once succinct and hugely evocative.'
The Guardian (Erica Jeal), 9 April 2013