14 June 2013 at 12.01pm | Comment on this article
The Royal Opera has commissioned a new full-length opera from composer George Benjamin and playwright Martin Crimp, whose most recent collaboration Written on Skin was performed by The Royal Opera to acclaim earlier this Season.
The new as-yet-untitled opera, which is expected to be done in partnership with several other opera companies, will have its world premiere at Covent Garden in 2018.
‘We are delighted that – following the incredible success of Written on Skin, which 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’, said Kasper Holten, Director of Opera. ‘It is hard to imagine a better match between a composer and a writer.’
Written on Skin, a co-production with five different opera houses co-commissioned by The Royal Opera, received a standing ovation on its premiere at the 2012 Festival d’Aix-en-Provence. Powerful, impassioned and fiercely dramatic, it was a sell-out success when it opened on the main stage in Covent Garden earlier this season, and has been described by The Guardian as a landmark in British opera. Listen to the cast and creative team speaking about Written on Skin.
As part of the ROH partnership with the BBC, Written on Skin will be broadcast by BBC Radio 3’s Opera on 3 on Saturday 22 June at 6pm, and relayed on television by BBC Four on Friday 28 June at 7:30pm. The CD recording is also available to buy online, and the production has been recorded for release on DVD in due course. It will be revived by The Royal Opera in 2017.
Earlier this season, Kasper and Music Director Antonio Pappano announced their plans to focus on new commissions over the coming years.
Gerald Barry’s The Importance of Being Earnest, directed by Ramin Gray, will have its UK stage premiere in the Linbury Studio Theatre today (Friday 14 June), while next season will feature new work by Australian composer Ben Frost (The Wasp Factory) and Julian Philips (How the Whale Became).
‘Our efforts are being focused on working with the composers who really excite us and who we feel have a real flair and passion for opera,’ said Pappano.
Looking ahead, other future plans include new work by American composer Philip Glass and a new opera for children by Anna Nicole composer Mark Anthony-Turnage. Find out more about The Royal Opera and new work relationships.