On 1 December, Oper Köln will present a new production of George Benjamin’s Written on Skin directed by Benjamin Lazar, with François-Xavier Roth conducting the Gürzenich Orchester. Initally planned for a run of six performances, this production premiere will instead be going ahead digitally as a response to the German corona restrictions.
Lazar is the eighth director to take up the opera since its first production by Katie Mitchell at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence in 2012 and will be working with a cast which includes Robin Adams (Protector), Magali Simard-Galdès (Agnès), and Cameron Shahbazi (Angel 1/The Boy). Described as ‘one of the first masterpieces of the 21st century’ by The New York Times, Benjamin’s ground-breaking opera is a strikingly beautiful and rich score which responds to every nuance of Martin Crimp’s resonant, finely chiselled text.
Tickets for the Köln streamed performance are available from the Oper Köln website and are subject to a 'pay as you wish' donation. This will not be an 'on demand' service, so be sure to have your ticket for 7:30pm (CET).
Benjamin enthusiasts will have the opportunity to glean further insight into his work from 7-11 December at noon on BBC Radio 3 where he is to be 'Composer of the Week'. Listen in to hear discussions with the composer on his experiences with inspiraion, collaboration, conducting and composing. The series covers the breadth of Benjamin's works; from the crystalline solo piano works, Shadowlines, Piano Figures; to the expressively colourful orchestral works, Palimpsests, Three Inventions for Chamber Orchestra; and the operas for which Benjamin is so celebrated, Into the Little Hill, Lessons in Love and Violence. Written on Skin will be featured during the installments of the show on Monday and Wednesday.