Well, it has certainly been quite the summer for Mozart in New York City. And here in the final throes of Gotham's grand celebration of most things Mozart--namely, the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center--we're finally getting the U.S. stage premiere of lauded British composer George Benjamin's equally highly-praised opera, 'Written on Skin,' at the David H. Koch Theater.
Alas, we are closing in on the final weeks of this summer's Mostly Mozart Festival. Fear not, though, Classicalites. The home stretch of Mostly Mozarts past there at Lincoln Center have always been filled with must-hear performers in don't-miss programming, and this 2015 iteration is hardly going out with a whimper. Case in point: the much-awaited American stage premiere of British composer George Benjamin's love-hate opera, 'Written on Skin.' Starring Barbara Hannigan and Christopher Purves in the viscerally erotic roles they, themselves, originated, outgoing New York Philharmonic music director Alan Gilbert leads the Mahler Chamber Orchestra in what's fast becoming the most revered English-language opera in some two decades.
An exciting new collaboration is on the horizon for New York. Now Lincoln Center and the New York Philharmonic announced that they would combine forces to bring concertgoers several fully assembled opera productions, the first coming from George Benjamin. Beginning this August, the companies will put on the first American stagings of Benjamin's "Written on Skin," which, according to "The New York Times," is "one of the most highly praised new operas of recent years." The production will premiere at the David H. Koch Theater as part of the Mostly Mozart Festival and will be followed in 2016 with Gerald Barry's "The Importance of Being Earnest" at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Rose Theater. A third opera is being planned for 2017 but, unfortunately, has not been announced.
Sir Harrison Birtwistle is no stranger to prizes. But being given the Instrumental solo gong at the British Composer Awards is a first even for him - it places him as the most honored composer in the history of those awards. He won the award for Gigue Machine, for solo piano, which now means that he has the most prizes and nominations ever allotted to one person by the BCA. He has previously won for Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in 2012 and Crowd in 2007, among his now-five BCA accolades