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Written on Skin / Lessons in Love & Violence DVD (The Royal Opera)

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This collection consists of George Benjamin and Martin Crimp’s two award-winning full-length operas, in visually stunning productions by critically acclaimed director Katie Mitchell.

Written on Skin has been hailed as ‘magic and irresistible … the best opera written over the last twenty years’ (Le Monde). It tells the story of a cruel and powerful Protector who asks a mysterious Boy to create an illuminated book to celebrate his wealth and family. He invites the Boy into his home, little realizing that this will lead to a journey of startling, joyful and ultimately tragic self-discovery for his oppressed and much younger wife Agnès.

Drawing on the real-life relationship between Edward II and Piers Gaveston, Lessons in Love and Violence explores how personal relationships can have fatal political consequences. The King lives in a close but uneasy relationship with his wife Isabel, their two children and his lover Gaveston. When the King banishes his military advisor Mortimer, he sets off a chain of devastating events.

The composer conducts two superb international casts, including soprano Barbara Hannigan, who appears in the leading roles of Agnès and Isabel.

See our full collection of opera DVDs and Blu-rays

Written on Skin
The Protector:
Christopher Purves
Barbara Hannigan
Angel 1 / The Boy:
Bejun Mehta
Angel 2 / Marie:
Victoria Simmonds
Angel 3 / John:
Allan Clayton

Lessons in Love and Violence
Stéphane Degout
Barbara Hannigan
Gaveston / Stranger:
Gyula Orendt
: Peter Hoare
Boy, Late Young King: Samuel Boden
Ocean Barrington-Cook

Orchestra of the Royal Opera House
George Benjamin
George Benjamin
Martin Crimp
Katie Mitchell
Vicki Mortimer
Directed for the screen by Margaret Williams

Extra Features: An Introduction to Written on Skin; Interview with George Benjamin; Clemency Burton-Hill interviews George Benjamin, Martin Crimp and Katie Mitchell; Cast Galleries

Sound: Dolby Stereo + DTS Digital Surround
Format: NTSC
Region code: 0 (worldwide)
Duration: 191 mins
Subtitles: EN, FR, DE, JP (BOTH) KO (LIL&V)