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Written on Skin Raves Give Lincoln Center–N.Y. Philharmonic Opera Initiative Flying Start

Posted August 13, 2015

"Written on Skin" New York Philharmonic

“It instantly became the Cultural Event of the New York summer season.” (The Washington Post)

Judging from the reviews of Tuesday night’s U.S. stage premiere of Written on Skin, conducted by Music Director Alan Gilbert, the Lincoln Center–New York Philharmonic Opera Initiative is off to a very promising start.

The New York Times’s Senior Music Critic Anthony Tommasini called the production an “ambitious venture” and said, “All the intricacy, beauty and strangeness of the music come through in the assured and colorful performance that the conductor Alan Gilbert, at his most brilliant, draws from the Mahler Chamber Orchestra.”

New York magazine called it “a work of perfectionist bravado, stunningly performed. … The score leaves no room for sloppiness, and Alan Gilbert extracts a performance of acid-etched precision from the Mahler Chamber Orchestra.”

“[George] Benjamin's score … is the soul of the opera, and conductor Alan Gilbert revealed it with particular mastery and wizardry,” wrote WQXR’s Operavore.

“Gilbert was excellent leading the singers and the great Mahler Chamber Orchestra in this New York Philharmonic co-presentation,” wrote New York Classical Review. “This performance was a reminder of how strong Gilbert is with both opera and contemporary music, and how much he will be missed in those genres.”

You can see Written on Skin tonight at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday at 3:00 p.m.

The Lincoln Center–New York Philharmonic Opera Initiative presents fully staged productions of significant modern operas never before seen in New York. It builds on Alan Gilbert’s run of acclaimed stagings with the Philharmonic, from Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre (2010) to Honegger’s Joan of Arc at the Stake (2015).

Join us for the Initiative’s second presentation: the U.S. stage premiere of the Irish composer Gerald Barry’s opera The Importance of Being Earnest, based on Oscar Wilde’s comedy. It will be presented June 2–4, 2016, jointly as part of the second NY PHIL BIENNIAL.

(Photo: Richard Termine)