In 2012, George Benjamin and Martin Crimp hit the headlines at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence with Written on Skin, a poisonous tale of love and death that has since become a reference in contemporary opera. This year, they are back for their fourth collaboration with Picture a day like this, an initiatory fable with subtle and changing atmospheres that follows a young woman’s quest to prove that happiness exists. The portrait is completed by a carte blanche with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra: revealing Benjamin’s elective affinities, from Ravel to Hans Abrahamsen, it aims to highlight each section of this orchestra, which history is largely linked to that of the composer – who will perform not only as a conductor but also as a pianist. This is an opportunity to hear At First Light (1982), an early work inspired by Turner’s painting, that sounds like a manifesto. The second concert of the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Susanna Mälkki, features his Concerto for Orchestra (2021), written forty years later, which is also a ‘playful and volatile’ poetic work.
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