Featured Video Play Icon

George Benjamin: Lessons in Love and Violence (2018)

A king is forced to choose between love and a tough political stance. He takes a fateful decision, plunging the country into civil war and turning his own wife and son irreconcilably against him. But once the son has learned a few painful lessons in realpolitik and the ‘surgical’ use of violence, he commits a terrible act of violence in front of his own mother – with the intention of making peace.

For Lessons in Love and ViolenceGeorge Benjamin and author Martin Crimp were inspired by the quick scene changes and the vulnerable, complicated characters of Elizabethan drama. Their new opera is therefore also concerned with the question of whether – and to what extent – the dangerous machinery of power leaves scope for love and affection.

Musical director: George Benjamin
Author: Martin Crimp
Stage director: Katie Mitchell
Sets and costumes: Vicki Mortimer
Lighting: James Farncombe
Director of movement: Joseph Alford
Orchestra: Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
King: Stéphane Degout
Isabel: Barbara Hannigan
Gaveston/ Stranger: Gyula Orendt
Mortimer: Peter Hoare
Boy/Young King: Samuel Boden
Witness 1/ Singer 1/ Woman 1: Jennifer France
Witness 2/ Singer 2/ Woman 2: Krisztina Szabó
Witness 3 / Madman: Andri Björn Róbertsson
Girl: Ocean Barrington-Cook