'We are delighted that – following the incredible success of Written on Skin, which we co-commissioned, and which now seems to be conquering the world – George Benjamin and Martin Crimp have agreed to write a brand new full-scale opera for the main stage at Covent Garden, scheduled to open in London in Spring 2018.

As a part of our focus on new commissions on all scales over the next years, this will obviously be a key project. It is hard to imagine a better match between a composer and a writer than Benjamin and Crimp, we have enjoyed doing Written on Skin immensely and we are extremely proud that they will be writing a new piece for Covent Garden.

We expect this commission will be done in partnership with other opera companies, and interest has already been expressed from opera companies in several countries, but the world premiere will take place at Covent Garden’.

Kasper Holten, Director of Opera
The Royal Opera

Written on Skin was a truly pan-European project for which five houses in four countries came together to commission a major piece by British composer George Benjamin, ‘one of the most formidable composers of his generation’ (New York Times). The world premiere of the opera took place in Aix-en-Provence in July 2012, followed by sold-out performances at the Royal Opera House in March 2013. There will be further opportunities to both see and hear the work, as the opera will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3’s Opera on 3 on Saturday 22 June at 6pm , and relayed on BBC Four on Friday 28 June at 7:30pm , as part of the ROH partnership with the BBC. Such is the success of Written on Skin that further new productions are already planned in Germany and Switzerland , as well as the USA premiere of the opera, and the opera is already available on CD and has been recorded for release on DVD . Written on Skin will be revived at the Royal Opera House in January 2017.

George Benjamin first worked together with British playwright Martin Crimp when they collaborated together on his first opera, Into the Little Hill, which had its London premiere in 2009 in the Linbury Studio Theatre and was revived there in 2010.

Written on Skin was a co-commission and co-production with the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, The Royal Opera, London , Nederlandse Opera Amsterdam, Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse and Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino.

The performances of Written on Skin at the Royal Opera House were generously supported by the Peter Moores Foundation Swansong Project and the Columbia Foundation of San Francisco.


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