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Written on Skin to be broadcast by BBC Radio 3 on 22 June and by BBC Four on 28 June

Find out more about George Benjamin and Martin Crimp’s masterpiece.

By Lottie Butler (Assistant Content Producer)

18 June 2013 at 4.25pm | 2 Comments

George Benjamin and Martin Crimp’s ground-breaking Written on Skin will be broadcast by BBC Radio 3 this Saturday (22 June) at 6pm. It will also be shown on television by BBC Four at 7.30pm on Friday 28 June.

The story

The opera, which had its premiere at the 2012 Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, was a hit with audiences and critics alike when it opened in London earlier this season.

Based on an 800-year-old fable called Le Coeur Mangé (The Eaten Heart), Written on Skin is a dark and powerful tale about violence, passion and revenge. Find out more in our Opera Essentials article.

The staging and rehearsals

Described in the Telegraph as ‘enthralling and enchanting’, the production features a 60-piece orchestra, a cast of five acclaimed singers (including Christopher Purves and Barbara Hannigan), and a dark and dramatic staging by Katie Mitchell. Watch a clip of rehearsals, including Martin, Barbara and Christopher speaking about the opera’s themes:

The score

George worked very closely with the artists to compose the score, creating roles especially for their voices. Find out more about writing the opera from the creative team.

The CD recording of Written on Skin 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.

Watch George speaking about the process of composing the opera:

A hit that will lead to future collaboration

Following the success of Written on Skin, The Royal Opera has commissioned another new full-length opera from George and Martin. The as-yet-untitled opera, which is expected to be created in partnership with several other opera companies, will have its world premiere at Covent Garden in 2018. Find out more about the new commission.

Other BBC Radio 3 broadcasts in the current series of Opera on 3 include Benjamin Britten’s Gloriana, which will be broadcast live on 29 June at 6pm.

By Lottie Butler (Assistant Content Producer)

18 June 2013 at 4.25pm

This article has been categorised Opera and tagged BBC, BBC Four, BBC Radio 3, broadcast, by George Benjamin, by Katie Mitchell, by Martin Crimp, Production, radio, Television, Written on Skin

This article has 2 comments

  1. Edmund Hobley responded on 21 June 2013 at 8:06pm Reply

    Its great news that the BBC appears to be broadcasting more opera on TV but its such a pity that we have now lost BBC HD. All cultural programmes are now only broadcast on BBC Four the quality of which is very poor compared to BBC HD.

  2. Looking forward to seeing this at last! Happy to hear it's being broadcast on TV. Yay :D

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