Written on Skin is a three-part opera by British composer George Benjamin and librettist Martin Crimp. Having premiered at the Aix-en-Provence Festival in 2012, the story retells a 13th-century southern French ballad. The Protector—a ruthless landowner—commissions the Boy to celebrate his life and the achievements of his family in an extravagant illuminated book. As the Boy painstakingly creates his manuscript, he attracts the attentions of the Protector’s much younger wife, Agnès. His imagery empowers her and she begins to reject her role as the childish property of her husband. The Protector’s angry dismay at his wife’s increasing independence leads to a compelling, yet gruesome finale.
On March 16th, Benjamin returns to conducting responsibilities at the Gran Teatre del Liceu for the show’s debut performance in Spain. His score promises richly expressive vocal lines and delicately lucid instrumental colouring, used to compliment collaborator Crimp’s dramatic text, which ultimately guarantees a high degree of theatrical tension running throughout. Awarded five stars by both The Guardian and The Telegraph for its 2013 run at the Royal Opera House in London, the original English-speaking cast from this contemporary and much-acclaimed opera now come to Barcelona to tell a love story etched in blood.
Written on Skin trailer
Tickets are available from €10. More information here.