Benjamin, G: Written on Skin

This page lists all recordings of Written on Skin, by George Benjamin (b.1960) on CD, DVD & Blu-ray.

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George Benjamin: Written on Skin

George Benjamin: Written on Skin

and Duet for piano and orchestra


Benjamin, G:

Written on Skin

recording of the first performance at the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence, July 2012

Christopher Purves (The Protector), Barbara Hannigan (Agnès), Bejun Mehta (First Angel/Boy), Victoria Simmonds (Second Angel/Marie), Allan Clayton (Third Angel/John)

Duet for piano and orchestra

Pierre-Laurent Aimard (piano)


Mahler Chamber Orchestra, George Benjamin

'Written on Skin' is the second collaboration between George Benjamin and Martin Crimp. Their previous one-act opera 'Into The Little Hill' has been received with universal acclaim. Written on skin was jointly commissioned by The Festival d Aix-en-Provence and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and this recording was largely produced from a broadcast recording by Radio France in July 2012 at Aix. George Benjamin’s status as one of the UK’s leading composers has created unprecedented demand for the new opera.

“George Benjamin has written nothing better…and that’s saying something.”

Richard Morrison, The Times

“The first opera masterpiece of the 21st Century.” Serge Martin, Le Soir

“one of the most (more pessimistically: one of the only) unforgettable operas of the last decade or two, a work that seems both old-fashioned and fresh. Timeless, more like it. With a virtuosic cast and its composer leading a committed orchestral reading, it takes its rightful place among the classics.” Zachary Woolfe, New York Times, December 2013

“The vocal lines are highly singable, and Christopher Purves’s Protector anchors the drama with a subtle baritone. Bejun Mehta and Barbara Hannigan relish the erotic confrontations of the Boy and Agnès, her soprano soaring fearlessly. Superb diction throughout.” Opera Now ****

“[Purves] expresses a brooding pride and menace that makes your skin crawl. [Hannigan] makes an electrifying transformation from doe-like submissiveness to sexual predator, and the powerfully strange countertenor of Bejun Mehta...is ideally contrasted to these two...Even more riveting than the singing is the playing of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra...On every level it’s masterly.” BBC Music Magazine, June 2013 *****

“The performance has nervous energy in abundance...the dark spirit of the drama is impressively sustained throughout, with the five singers giving their all and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra relishing the music’s startlingly distinctive range of colours and textures.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2013

GGramophone Awards 2013

Finalist - Contemporary

BBC Music Magazine Awards 2014

Premiere Award

Nimbus - NI5885

(CD - 2 discs)

$15.50

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Benjamin, G: Written on Skin

Benjamin, G: Written on Skin

Recorded live at the Royal Opera House, March 2013


Christopher Purves (Protector), Barbara Hannigan (Agnès), Bejun Mehta (First Angel/Boy), Victoria Simmonds (Second Angel/Marie) & Allan Clayton (Third Angel/John)

Royal Opera Chorus & Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, George Benjamin (conductor) & Katie Mitchell (director)

Text: Martin Crimp

When Written on Skin had its premiere at the 2012 Festival d'Aix-en-Provence, conducted by George Benjamin himself, it received a standing ovation. The opera's arrival at Covent Garden in 2013 was eagerly anticipated, and provided audiences with the opportunity to experience the work of two of Britain's greatest living artists. Benjamin previously collaborated with playwright Martin Crimp on Into the Little Hill, a magical retelling of the Pied Piper fairytale, and for this new work they joined forces with acclaimed stage director Katie Mitchell. For all three, the production marked their main-stage debut at the Royal Opera House.

The tale, inspired by a medieval legend, tells of an ill-fated troubadour, drawn into a liaison with an innocent maiden. But they are observed by the jealous eye of her protector, who wreaks a shocking revenge on the young couple.

Written on Skin draws on a 12th-century Occitan legend about the troubadour Guillaume de Cabestanh.

Extra features: Interview with George Benjamin, Introduction to Written on Skin and a Cast gallery.

Running time: 89 minutes

Subtitles EN/FR/DE/JA

Sound format: 2.0LPCM + 5.1(5.0) DTS

“Benjamin's contribution is the most consistently impressive facet...Mehta makes much of the Boy's enigmatic presence without ever becoming a cipher for the vulnerabilties of others...The DVD conveys much of the claustrophobic power of this production...Make no mistake, this is an opera certain to endure.” International Record Review, March 2014

“This is an outstanding release in every way...Benjamin's extraordinary music is breathtaking in its lightly worn compositional virtuosity...The cast is sensational...Hannigan deserves all the superlatives in the dictionary...make no mistake: this is a true masterpiece.” BBC Music Magazine, April 2014 *****

“The vocal writing for the most part feels intimate and conversational...Mehta touches chords of the unearthly...More mesmerizing still, Barbara Hannigan's Agnès displays a fawnlike persona that belies the maelstrom within...Hannigan's rounded, lyrical soprano makes music even of her most jagged lines, clear up to a sustained, climactic "scream" on high C.” Opera News, May 2014

“Benjamin’s score ranges from passages of exquisite iridescence, revealing his debt to Debussy and Ravel, to climaxes that explode with an orchestral violence new to his work...The cast is excellent, especially Barbara Hannigan as the wife, combining vocal trapeze-work with a thoroughly modern dramatic intensity, and Christopher Purves in the Golaud-like role of the husband...A new opera that will surely repay repeated viewings.” Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2014

“This is one of the best filmed operas I’ve ever seen...Williams’ intelligent direction would be meaningless if the cast could not deliver: but they do … and magnificently. The quality of the acting is absolutely superb.” MusicWeb International, July 2014

Presto Discs of 2014

Finalist

GGramophone Awards 2014

Winner - Contemporary

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Opus Arte Royal Opera House Collection - OA1125D

(DVD Video)

$28.25

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Benjamin, G: Written on Skin

Benjamin, G: Written on Skin

Recorded live at the Royal Opera House, March 2013


Christopher Purves (Protector), Barbara Hannigan (Agnès), Bejun Mehta (First Angel/Boy), Victoria Simmonds (Second Angel/Marie) & Allan Clayton (Third Angel/John)

Royal Opera Chorus & Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, George Benjamin (conductor) & Katie Mitchell (director)

Text: Martin Crimp

When Written on Skin had its premiere at the 2012 Festival d'Aix-en-Provence, conducted by George Benjamin himself, it received a standing ovation. The opera's arrival at Covent Garden in 2013 was eagerly anticipated, and provided audiences with the opportunity to experience the work of two of Britain's greatest living artists. Benjamin previously collaborated with playwright Martin Crimp on Into the Little Hill, a magical retelling of the Pied Piper fairytale, and for this new work they joined forces with acclaimed stage director Katie Mitchell. For all three, the production marked their main-stage debut at the Royal Opera House.

The tale, inspired by a medieval legend, tells of an ill-fated troubadour, drawn into a liaison with an innocent maiden. But they are observed by the jealous eye of her protector, who wreaks a shocking revenge on the young couple.

Written on Skin draws on a 12th-century Occitan legend about the troubadour Guillaume de Cabestanh.

Extra features: Interview with George Benjamin, Introduction to Written on Skin and a Cast gallery.

Running time: 89 minutes

Subtitles EN/FR/DE/JA

Sound format: 2.0LPCM + 5.1(5.0) DTS

“Benjamin's contribution is the most consistently impressive facet...Mehta makes much of the Boy's enigmatic presence without ever becoming a cipher for the vulnerabilities of others...The DVD conveys much of the claustrophobic power of this production...Make no mistake, this is an opera certain to endure.” International Record Review, March 2014

“This is an outstanding release in every way...Benjamin's extraordinary music is breathtaking in its lightly worn compositional virtuosity...The cast is sensational...Hannigan deserves all the superlatives in the dictionary...make no mistake: this is a true masterpiece.” BBC Music Magazine, April 2014 *****

Presto Discs of 2014

Finalist

GGramophone Awards 2014

Winner - Contemporary

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

Opus Arte Royal Opera House Collection - OABD7136D

(Blu-ray)

$33.75

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Contemporary British Operas

Contemporary British Operas


Benjamin, G:

Written on Skin

Recorded live at the Royal Opera House, March 2013

Christopher Purves (Protector), Barbara Hannigan (Agnès), Bejun Mehta (First Angel/Boy), Victoria Simmonds (Second Angel/Marie) & Allan Clayton (Third Angel/John)

George Benjamin (conductor) & Katie Mitchell (director)

Birtwistle:

The Minotaur

Recorded live at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden on the 25th & 30th April and 3rd May 2008

John Tomlinson (The Minotaur), Johan Reuter (Theseus), Christine Rice (Ariadne), Andrew Watts (Snake Priestess), Philip Langridge (Hiereus), Amanda Echalaz (Ker), Rebecca Bottone, Pumeza Matshikiza, Wendy Dawn Thompson, Christopher Ainslie, Tim Mead (Innocents)

Antonio Pappano (conductor) & Stephen Langridge (stage director)

Turnage:

Anna Nicole

Recorded live at the Royal Opera House, 23 & 26 February 2011. Contains very strong language and scenes of a sexual nature.

Eva-Maria Westbroek (Anna Nicole), Alan Oke (Old Man Marshall), Gerald Finley (The Lawyer Stern), Susan Bickley (Virgie), Jeremy White (Daddy Hogan), Loré Lixenberg (Cousin Shelley), Peter Hoare (Larry King), Rebecca de Pont Davies (Aunt Kay), Dominic Rowntree (Older Daniel), Allison Cook (Blossom), Andrew Rees (Doctor), Grant Doyle (Billy) & Wynne Evans (Mayor); John Parricelli (guitar), John Paul Jones (bass guitarist), Peter Erskine (drummer)

Antonio Pappano (conductor) & Richard Jones (director)


The Royal Opera Chorus & The Orchestra of the Royal Opera House

This collection celebrates the best of contemporary British opera, bringing together three acclaimed Royal Opera House productions: Harrison Birtwistle and David Harsent’s The Minotaur, a gripping, visceral drama based on the legendary bull-headed creature of Greek mythology; Anna Nicole, Mark-Anthony Turnage and Richard Thomas’s punchy yet compassionate morality tale exploring the doomed life of the eponymous Playboy model; and the sensuously beautiful Written on Skin, George Benjamin and Martin Crimp’s revenge opera which puts an otherworldly spin on its dark, medieval storyline.

Striking sets, innovative staging, compelling performances and consummate conducting – with Music Director Antonio Pappano at the orchestral helm for The Minotaur and Anna Nicole – unite these three very different but equally captivating operas, making for a collection rich in dramatic tension and first-class music making.

Running Time: 265 minutes

Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Anamorphic

Subtitles: EN/FR/DE/ES/IT

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Opus Arte Royal Opera House Collection - OA1189BD

(DVD Video - 4 discs)

$33.75

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

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