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Written on Skin

 07 July 2012 at 8pm (See website for more performances) 

Written on Skin

Festival d'Aix en Provence

United Kingdom

Festival d’Aix-en-Provence new production
In coproduction with the Nederlandse Opera Amsterdam, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden London, the Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse, the Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino

A rich lord welcomes into his house the artist he has commissioned to complete a book of illuminations. This work, he hopes, will immortalise the ruthless practice of his political power and the calm contentment brought to him by domestic order, embodied in the humility and childish obedience of his wife Agnes.

However the creation of the book becomes a catalyst for his wife’s rebellion. After a first successful attempt at seduction, Agnes uses her new intimacy with the illuminator to change the very content of the book and so forces her husband to see her as she really is. This opens the path for an extraordinary and final act of provocation.

Written on Skin, based on an Occitan legend from the 12th century and performed under the cold gaze of 21st-century angels, explores the explosive consequences of self-discovery and the limitations of the power that one human being can exert on another.

Commissioned by the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence and other co-producing opera houses, this world premiere was created by two of the most prominent artists of our time.

George Benjamin : Written on Skin

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