Benjamin: Written on Skin *****
Mahler CO/Benjamin, Barbican, 19th March 2016
There is no doubt that George Benjamin’s opera Written on Skin is a modern masterpiece. Since its 2012 première at Aix-en-Provence, it has conquered the world. Shorn of Katie Mitchell’s production and presented on the Barbican Hall’s stage with only the occasional prop, it came across with even greater intensity. Where the eye had often been drawn to different rooms of Vicki Mortimer’s two-tier set, here the craftmanship of Benjamin’s sensuous score itself was the focus, noticeably the outstanding playing of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra under the composer’s watchful gaze.
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