George Benjamin and Martin Crimp’s second full-length opera – following the acclaimed Written on Skin – draws on the reallife relationship between Edward II and Piers Gaveston to explore 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.
Benjamin’s richly-orchestrated score perfectly captures the
drama’s intense emotions, while director Katie Mitchell provides a visually stunning contemporary staging, highlighting the timelessness of the opera’s main themes. The composer himself conducts a superb international cast. Filmed in High Definition and recorded in true Surround Sound.
King: Stéphane Degout
Isabel: Barbara Hannigan
Gaveston/Stranger: Gyula Orendt
Mortimer: Peter Hoare
Boy / Young King: Samuel Boden
Witness 1/Singer 1/Woman 1: Jennifer France
Witness 2/Singer 2/Woman 2: Krisztina Szabó
Witness 3/Madman: Andri Björn Róbertsson
Orchestra of The Royal Opera House
Conductor: George Benjamin
Stage Director: Katie Mitchell
Extras: Clemency Burton-Hill interviews George Benjamin, Martin Crimp and Katie Mitchell / Cast Gallery