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


  • 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.

    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)