George Benjamin's opera 'Written on Skin' is broadcast live from the Aix-en-Provence Festival. Based on a libretto by Martin Crimp it tells of how a rich lord welcomes into his house the artist he has commissioned to complete a book of illuminations. This work, he hopes, will immortalise the ruthless practice of his political power and the calm contentment brought to him by domestic order, embodied in the humility and childish obedience of his wife Agnes. However, the creation of the book becomes a catalyst for his wife's rebellion. After a first successful attempt at seduction, Agnes uses her new intimacy with the illuminator to change the very content of the book. George Benjamin conducts the Mahler Chamber Orchestra; performers include: Christopher Purves, Barbara Hannigan, Bejun Mehta, Victoria Simmonds and Allan Clayton. (Running time: 100mins without interval.)
.... Written on Skin, based on an Occitan legend from the 12th century and performed under the cold gaze of 21st -century angels, explores the explosive consequences of self-discovery and the limitations of the power that one human being can exert on another.