The Royal Opera has announced that it will be co-commissioning and co-producing a new opera with Dutch National Opera , Hamburg State Opera, Opéra de Lyon , Lyric Opera of Chicago, Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona  and Teatro Real, Madrid – written by George Benjamin and Martin Crimp. 

Premiering May 2018, Lessons in Love and Violence is George Benjamin’s third opera, following Written on Skin which premiered in 2012.

This new opera sees George Benjamin working once more with playwright Martin Crimp who provided the text for his opera Into the Little Hill and his first full length opera Written on Skin which received its UK premiere at the Royal Opera House in 2013.

Talking about the news, Kasper Holten, Director of Opera at The Royal Opera said: “I am truly grateful that George, together with Martin Crimp, is writing his next major opera for us at Covent Garden, with six major partner opera houses around the world, and it has been a fascinating journey for me to be in conversation with George and Martin from the very first moments of discussion about this new piece. I think they have found an extraordinary subject and given it a treatment that feels deeply original and should make for an evening of exciting music theatre.” 

A king, compelled to choose between love and political hard-headedness, makes a fatal decision, allowing his country to slide into civil war, and setting his own wife and son implacably against him. But when the son in turn has been given bruising lessons in realpolitik and the surgical use of force, he performs in front of his mother ― albeit with the object of restoring peace ― a terrifying act of violence.

Just as for Written on Skin, George Benjamin will be conducting all of the performances at the Royal Opera House.

The production will be directed by Katie Mitchell who also directed the world and UK premieres of Written on Skin.

Cast for the production is set to include Stéphane Degout, Barbara Hannigan, Peter Hoare,  Gyula Orendt, Samuel Boden , Jennifer France, Andri Björn Róbertsson and Krisztina Szabó.

Lessons in Love and Violence will appear at the Royal Opera House from the 10th to the 26th May 2018. 


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