Last year’s performance of George Benjamin’s luminous At First Light at Sounds New, given by the London Sinfonietta, was one of the festival’s most memorable moments – for me, at least – and I’m very excited at the possibility of hearing his new opera, Written on Skin, which has been getting high praise in the press.
Premiered in Aix-en-Provence last year, with a libretto by Martin Crimp, the opera has been getting rave write-ups, including this insightful one by composer Aaron Holloway-Nahum on the always-interesting blog, I Care If You Listen.
There’s an assessment of Benjamin’s music on the Guardian from Tom Service here, and here’s a video of preparations in Aix for the premiere last year.
And here’s the final part of At First Light, with those wonderful, richly-hued chords, and the epic climax and filigree resolution, that means the work hasn’t stopped sounding in my ears ever since hearing it live last year. I’m looking forward to getting round to seeing Written on Skin at some point, and being able to say, as the commentator does towards the end of the video above, ‘J’était là.’
Posted by Daniel Harding