Lessons in Love and Violence at Dutch National Opera


Following the highly acclaimed world premiere at London’s Royal Opera House, Lessons in Love and Violence travelled to Amsterdam to the Dutch National Opera as part of the Holland Festival.
Lessons in Love and Violence is the latest collaboration between composer George Benjamin and playwright Martin Crimp. The co-production brings together baritone Stéphane Degout as King, soprano Barbara Hannigan as Queen Isabel, Gyula Orendt as Gaveston and Peter Hoare as Mortimer. Reprising the successful creative team of Written on Skin, Katie Mitchell and Vicki Mortimer return as stage director and designer.

“Lessons in Love and Violence intrigues and compels.
Charged with music of exquisite beauty and a potent narrative, it is immaculately staged and performed.
The artistry involved is consummate.” – The Telegraph

Reviews from the Dutch National Opera performances

Volkskrant, 27 June 2018

“The tailor-made roles fit the singers like a glove: at the forefront, the always fantastic Barbara Hannigan as the queen.”
“Op maat gemaakte vocale partijen passen de zangers als een handschoen: voorop de altijd geweldige Barbara Hannigan als koningin.”

NRC, 27 June 2018
(4 out of 5 stars)

“Seldomly do you see so many directly iconic scenes in a new opera. The strongest example is the moment that queen Isabel – one of the many multifaceted, ‘strong woman roles’ of the hyper-charismatic soprano Barbara Hannigan – is confronted with ‘the poor of the country’.”
“Zelden zie je in een nieuwe opera zoveel direct iconische scènes. Sterkste voorbeeld is het moment waarop koningin Isabel – de zoveelste reliëfrijke, ‘sterkevrouwrol’ van de hypercharismatische sopraan Barbara Hannigan – wordt geconfronteerd met ‘de armen van het land’.”

Opera Today, 27 June 2018

“That Isabel emerges as the most clearly delineated character is certainly thanks to Barbara Hannigan’s consummate artistry, but also because her high-lying music, tailored to Hannigan’s strengths, has a distinctive imprint.”

operamagazine.nl, 26 June 2018

“Barbara Hannigan as Isabel sings the pearl aria with a certain cruelty in her breathtaking expression.”
“Barbara Hannigan als Isabel zingt de parelaria met een zekere wreedheid in haar adembenemende expressie.”

Theaterkrant, 25 June 2018

“Barbara Hannigan (soprano) is a beautiful, tragic queen Isabel who conspires with Mortimer (Peter Hoare, tenor) to maintain order.”
“Barbara Hannigan (sopraan) is een schitterende, tragische koningin Isabel die het aanlegt met Mortimer (Peter Hoare, tenor) om de orde te handhaven.”

Reporters Online, 28 June 2018

“Barbara Hannigan enchants as Isabel, even in the highest tessatura her voice still sounds full and round”
“Barbara Hannigan betovert ons als Isabel, haar stem klinkt zelfs in de allerhoogste regionen vol en rond.”

Lessons in Love and Violence is a co-production with Royal Opera House Covent Garden (London), Hamburgische Staatsoper, Opéra national de Lyon, Lyric Opera (Chicago), Gran Teatre del Liceu (Barcelona), and Teatro Real (Madrid).

photo credit: ROH/Stephen Cummiskey