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Samuel Boden as Boy & Young King, Ocean Barrington-Cook as Girl, Barbara Hannigan as Isabel in Lessons in Love and Violence, The Royal Opera © 2018 ROH. Photograph by Stephen Cummiskey

Stéphane Degout as King and Gyula Orendt as Gaveston in Lessons in Love and Violence, The Royal Opera © 2018 ROH. Photograph by Stephen Cummiskey

Production Photo of Lessons in Love and Violence, The Royal Opera © 2018 ROH. Photograph by Stephen Cummiskey

Jennifer France as Witness 1, Krisztina Szabó as Witness 2, Barbara Hannigan as Isabel, Samuel Boden as Boy & Young King and Peter Hoare as Mortimer in Lessons in Love and Violence, The Royal Opera © 2018 ROH. Photograph by Stephen Cummiskey

Barbara Hannigan as Isabel, Stéphane Degout as King and Gyula Orendt as Gaveston in Lessons in Love and Violence, The Royal Opera © 2018 ROH. Photograph by Stephen Cummiskey

Barbara Hannigan as Isabel in Lessons in Love and Violence, The Royal Opera © 2018 ROH. Photograph by Stephen Cummiskey

Barbara Hannigan as Isabel and Peter Hoare as Mortimer in Lessons in Love and Violence, The Royal Opera © 2018 ROH. Photograph by Stephen Cummiskey

Ocean Barrington-Cook as Girl, Barbara Hannigan as Isabel, Stéphane Degout as King and Samuel Boden as Boy & Young King in Lessons in Love and Violence, The Royal Opera © 2018 ROH. Photograph by Stephen Cummiskey

Ocean Barrington-Cook as Girl and Stéphane Degout as King in Lessons in Love and Violence, The Royal Opera © 2018 ROH. Photograph by Stephen Cummiskey

Barbara Hannigan as Isabel in Lessons in Love and Violence, The Royal Opera © 2018 ROH. Photograph by Stephen Cummiskey

Lessons in Love and Violence

George Benjamin conducts the world premiere of his darkly dramatic new opera – a major event in contemporary music from the creators of Written on Skin, with an internationally renowned cast.

Most recent performance

There are currently no scheduled performances of Lessons in Love and Violence. It was last on stage 10–26 May 2018 as part of the Spring 2017/18 season.

Introduction

A king allows his personal relationships to come between him and the court. His decisions tear a country and a family apart in this powerful and thrilling story of passion and brutality.

Background

Lessons in Love and Violence is the latest collaboration between composer George Benjamin and playwright Martin Crimp. Their previous work includes the large-scale opera Written on Skin – which has since become the most performed new opera of the 21st century. Lessons in Love and Violence combines atmospheric music and penetrating character studies. Director Katie Mitchell and designer Vicki Mortimer, the team behind the first production of Written on Skin, complete the creative team behind this major event in contemporary music.

The opera’s drama begins as King Edward II’s relationship with Piers Gaveston upsets the personal life of court and the political wellbeing of the country. When the controlling military leader Mortimer joins forces with Queen Isabel, the results are deadly for Gaveston and Edward. The lessons learned by the characters of this new opera are harsh ones, following a gripping trajectory from warmth and indulgence towards calculating, cold severity.

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