Home » Opera and Ballet » Written on Skin at the Royal Opera House – 13th to 30th January 2017

Written on Skin at the Royal Opera House – 13th to 30th January 2017


George Benjamin conducts a talented cast in The Royal Opera’s first revival of his and Martin Crimp’s highly acclaimed opera.

George Benjamin and Martin Crimp’s Written on Skin is one of the most successful new operas of recent times. Since its premiere at the Aix-en-Provence Festival in 2012 it has been performed worldwide in numerous productions, to widespread acclaim.

The story centres around a powerful Protector who commissions a young artist to create an illuminated book to celebrate his power. The book and its artist, spark the rebellion of the Protector’s submissive wife Agnès.

Agnès compels the Boy to depict their relationship in his illuminations. The Protector cannot avoid understanding what he sees. He kills the Boy and serves his heart to Agnès. She remains defiant, and leaps to her death rather than let herself be killed.

Written on Skin draws on a 12th-century Occitan legend about the troubadour Guillem de Cabestaing. Crimp explores  the story’s enduring themes of love, passion and violence, with a contemporary twist: mysterious 21st-century angels watch over the enfolding drama. Benjamin’s strikingly beautiful score – compared to Pelléas et Mélisande and Wozzeck – moves with breathtaking agility from moments of heightened stillness to unmistakable brutality.

Running time

The performance lasts about 1 hour 30 minutes; there is no interval.

If you would like further information or book tickets, visit the Royal Opera House website here

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