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George Benjamin: Lessons in Love and Violence

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George Benjamin and Martin Crimp’s second full-length opera – following the acclaimed Written on Skin – draws on the real-life relationship between Edward II and Piers Gaveston to explore how personal relationships can have fatal political consequences. The King lives in a close but uneasy relationship with his wife Isabel, their two children and his lover Gaveston. When the King banishes his military advisor Mortimer, he sets off a chain of devastating events. Benjamin’s richly-orchestrated score perfectly captures the drama’s intense emotions, while director Katie Mitchell provides a visually stunning contemporary staging, highlighting the timelessness of the opera’s main themes. The composer himself conducts a superb international cast. "George Benjamin and Martin Crimp have done it again. Six years after their previous operatic collaboration, the masterly “Written on Skin,” Mr. Benjamin and Mr. Crimp have again dared to challenge audiences by remaining true to their uncompromising visions. In “Lessons in Love and Violence,” which opened here on Thursday at the Royal Opera House, the music, written and compellingly conducted by Mr. Benjamin, is unapologetically modernist, while the libretto, by Mr. Crimp, is often cryptic. Without pandering, they’ve made another significant contribution to the art form. In the queen, Mr. Benjamin has created another remarkable role for Ms. Hannigan’s immense vocal gifts and comprehensive musicianship. He writes lines that shift from earthy emotionalism to angelic purity, knowing that this artist can handle those pivots. He takes advantage of her focused intonation and rhythmic precision to lend even anguished passages structural strength. But it’s Mr. Benjamin’s remarkable music that gives the work its charge: The writing is so lush, haunting and detailed — radiant one moment, piercingly dissonant the next — that you are continuously enveloped by the raucous beauty of the sounds." (New York Times)
Item number OABD7199D
Barcode 809478071990
Release date 01/01/2019
Category DVD
Label Opus Arte
Media type BLU-RAY DVD
Number of units 1
Artists Degout, Stephane
Hannigan, Barbara
Hoare, Peter
Boden, Samuel
Orchestra Of The Royal Opera House
Orendt, Gyula
France, Jennifer
Szabo, Krisztina
Robertsson, Andri Bjorn
Composers Benjamin, George
Conductors Benjamin, George
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