Watch now

Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
More Buying Choices
Fulfillment Express Add to Basket
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available


Benjamin: Written On Skin [Katie Mitchell, Martin Crimp, Christopher Purves, Barbara Hannigan] [Blu-ray] [2013] [Region Free]

Katie Mitchell , Martin Crimp    Exempt   Blu-ray
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
Price: £24.04 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Only 4 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Want it Tuesday, 23 Sep.? Choose Express delivery at checkout. Details
Gramophone Awards Nominee
Gramophone Award Winner
This album was selected as one of the winners of the Gramophone Classical Music Awards 2014 - a selection of the best recordings in the genre as chosen by Gramophone Magazine. Browse more Gramophone Award winners and nominees.

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Note: Blu-ray discs are in a high definition format and need to be played on a Blu-ray player. To find out more about Blu-ray, visit our Hi-Def Learn & Shop store.

  • Important Information on Firmware Updates: Having trouble with your Blu-ray disc player? Will certain discs just not play? You may need to update the firmware inside your player. Click here to learn more.

Frequently Bought Together

Benjamin: Written On Skin [Katie Mitchell, Martin Crimp, Christopher Purves, Barbara Hannigan] [Blu-ray] [2013] [Region Free] + Korsakov: Legend of the Invisible City [Blu-ray] [2013] [Region Free] + Britten: Peter Grimes on Aldeburgh Beach [Arthaus: 108101] [Blu-ray] [2013] [Region Free]
Price For All Three: £82.77

Buy the selected items together

Product details

  • Actors: Katie Mitchell, Martin Crimp, Christopher Purves, Barbara Hannigan, Bejun Mehta
  • Format: Classical
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, German, Japanese
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Opus Arte
  • DVD Release Date: 6 Jan 2014
  • Run Time: 89 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 32,307 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description


Royal Opera House

Protector Christopher Purves
Agnès Barbara Hannigan
First Angel/Boy Bejun Mehta
Second Angel/Marie Victoria Simmonds
Third Angel/John Allan Clayton
Royal Opera Chorus
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House

Text Martin Crimp
Conductor George Benjamin
Director Katie Mitchell

Recorded live at the Royal Opera House, March 2013

When Written on Skin had its premiere at the 2012 Festival d'Aix-en-Provence, conducted by George Benjamin himself, it received a standing ovation. The opera's arrival at Covent Garden in 2013 was eagerly anticipated, and provided audiences with the opportunity to experience the work of two of Britain's greatest living artists. Benjamin previously collaborated with playwright Martin Crimp on Into the Little Hill, a magical retelling of the Pied Piper fairytale, and for this new work they joined forces with acclaimed stage director Katie Mitchell. For all three, the production marked their main-stage debut at the Royal Opera House. The tale, inspired by a medieval legend, tells of an ill-fated troubadour, drawn into a liaison with an innocent maiden. But they are observed by the jealous eye of her protector, who wreaks a shocking revenge on the young couple.

Running time: 89 minutes
Subtitles: EN/FR/DE/JA
Sound format: 2.0LPCM + 5.1(5.0) DTS

Product Description

I will ship by EMS or SAL items in stock in Japan. It is approximately 7-14days on delivery date. You wholeheartedly support customers as satisfactory. Thank you for you seeing it.

Customer Reviews

3 star
2 star
1 star
4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Illuminating 4 Jan 2014
By Keris Nine TOP 500 REVIEWER
It's hard to judge and define what makes a work of modern opera great when you don't have history and the legacy of the composer to look back on. In the age of DVD and Blu-ray you can judge for yourself now whether a work has merit by how much it draws you back to view it again. On that basis, standing up to repeated viewings that reveal new elements, George Benjamin's Written on Skin is undoubtedly one of the best new opera works of recent years, a work that creates a compelling musical and narrative language of its own that creates a world that resembles little else out there.

The question of events retaining or gaining significance with time is, not by chance, a large part of what Written on Skin is all about. Based on a 13th century work by the troubadour Guillem de Cabestaing (Le Coeur mangé), Written on Skin intentionally and very specifically filters a very old story through new eyes and with a modern sensibility. The medieval story involves a wealthy landowner, the Protector, who wishes to have his achievements and his pre-eminent place in the world to be immortalised by hiring an artisan to create an illuminated manuscript. His wife however wishes also to have her place in this world redefined and encourages the Boy to make the woman real. Starting to think for herself and act of her own accord undermines the Protector's position, so that when he discovers that his wife has cheated on him, he kills the Boy and serves his heart up to her to eat.

Crimp and Benjamin however use a framing device of 21st century angels in an adjoining "workshop" recreating and taking part in the drama. It's a very post-modern device in how it alerts us to the fact that the drama is an artificial construct.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By siodlo
Written on Skin is the work of British composer George Benjamin with text by Martin Crimp. It takes place in medieval Italy and tells a story of three people: the Protector, his wife Agnes and the Boy and their complicated love triangle. The story is told though a framework of XXI C. angels, one of whom becomes the Boy and experiences the forces of sexual attraction and violence.

The story focuses on the Boy who is commissioned by the Protector to create a book. The Protector’s wife Agnes finds herself attracted to the Boy and it is through that attraction that she is able to liberate herself from her abusive husband who treats her like his property. This Opera is violent and full of passion. Characters sing about themselves in a 3rd person form, which can be a little confusing at the beginning, but with a little adjusting ceases to be a problem.

The set design is very impressive as it is divided into two parts – a minimalist modern scene and another that represents medieval Italy. Most of the action takes place in the medieval part and characters there are expressive the full of passion. This clashes with the modern part that is calm and clean and has some sort of clinical feel to it. It is a shame that there are so few shots featuring the whole of the stage, as the contrast is a little lost in the DVD version.

The lightening in the production is remarkable and watching the DVD feels more like watching a film rather than a recording of the onstage piece. Another benefit to watching Written On Skin at home is that you can look at the singers great performance up close including their movements and facial expression – something I was not able to do in the theatre.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
4.0 out of 5 stars An intense & dramatic modern Opera 6 Aug 2014
By Cher
Written on Skin is a modern opera composed by George Benjamin and written by Martin Crimp. It tells the story of three main characters: The Boy, The Protector and his submissive wife Agnes. Set in 13th Century Provence, the wealthy Protector pays the Boy to create an illuminated manuscript to document his deeds. The Boy and the Protector’s wife Agnes become attracted to each other, initiating a love triangle between the characters, setting the scene for Agnes’ uprising and a surprising act of revenge. The Boy is murdered by the Protector, who then forces Agnes to eat The Boy’s heart, finally, in the operatic climax Agnes commits suicide.
Nearly all of the Opera is sung by the three characters, giving the duration an almost short feeling compared to the typically 2 1/2 hour Operas that I am used to.

The libretto written by Martin Crimp is very straightforward, and easy to understand while still being very dramatic, it is styled in a way which allows the main characters to talk about themselves and narrate their actions in the third person, almost allowing the audience to hear their thoughts whilst creating a subtle distance between the performer and the character. The vivid intensity is maintained throughout the performance

As usual the Orchestra are fantastic, with the orchestral score including conventional instruments, as well as a few unusual ones like the glass harmonica and steel drum.

I particularly liked the very modern staging, which is divided into four sections akin to different periods in time; two sections on the left resembling office rooms, and in the right sided sections, the inside of the Protector’s home and an outdoor wood area.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category