|Stéphane Degout prepares for Lessons in Love and Violence|
Written on Skin has become the second most performed new opera in the 21st century.
The cast for Lessons in Love and Violence will feature French barihunk Stéphane Degout as the King, Hungarian-Romanian barihunk Gyula Orendt as his lover Gaveston and Icelandic barihunk Andri Björn Róbertsson as a Madman. The remainder of the cast includes Canadian soprano Barbara Hannigan as Isabel, British tenor Peter Hoare Mortimer and British tenor Samuel Boden as the Young King.
The project began two years ago, when the Royal Opera House commissioned George Benjamin and librettist Martin Crimp to write a new work, following the huge success of Written on Skin, a medieval-set story in which the creation of an illuminated manuscript leads to adultery, murder and cannibalism.
Lessons in Love and Violence is a re-imagining of the life of Edward II and his doomed relationship with Piers Gaveston, the first Earl of Cornwall, and is presented as seven lessons seen through the eyes of the monarch’s two children. This is the second opera to be written in recent years based on the same topic, as Swiss composer Andrea Lorenzo Scartazzini premiered his new opera about Edward II at the Deutsche Oper Berlin last year.
Lessons in Love and Violence will be performed at the Dutch National Opera in June 2018, Hamburg State Opera in April 2019 and at Opéra de Lyon in May 2019.