Medici.tv Presents World Premiere of WRITTEN ON SKIN Today, 7/14

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Today, July 14 at 10 A.M. EDT, medici.tv presents the world premiere of British composer George Benjamin's opera WRITTEN ON SKIN, recorded live at the Grand Théâtre de Provence in Aix-en-Provence last weekend. The opera stars bass Christopher Purves, soprano Barbara Hannigan, countertenor Bejun Mehta, mezzo-soprano Victoria Simmonds and tenor Allan Clayton, with the composer conducting.

WRITTEN ON SKIN is Benjamin's first full-scale opera, following his 2006 chamber piece Into the Little Hill. Taken from a 12th-century French legend of lust, betrayal and murder, with an original text by Martin Crimp and featuring the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Written on Skin garnered high praise after its world premiere last weekend; the Financial Times noted the "atmospheric, descriptive, sensual and evocative" score and concluded, "With so much invested by so many, it is just as well the piece succeeds. And it does… the piece is superb," while Renaud Machart of Le Monde asserted, "It is the best opera written in the last twenty years." Written on Skin was commissioned by the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence and is a co-production between the festival and the Nederlandse Opera Amsterdam, the Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden London and the Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino.

About medici.tv:

Since its official launch in May 2008, medici.tv has gained international recognition, bringing together a community of music and arts lovers from 182 countries – online viewers who have watched over twelve million videos to date. The site currently averages more than 80,000 individual visitors each month. In addition to offering live concert hall events that music lovers can experience on their computers and entertainment systems, medici.tv now offers a free application (available at the Apple App Store and for the Android) that makes it possible to experience world-class artistry on iPads, iPhones and the Android.

One of the biggest successes to date at medici.tv has been the webcast of a Lucerne Festival concert featuring Gustavo Dudamel and the Vienna Philharmonic that has been watched more than 347,500 times (live and on-demand) by visitors from 150 countries. Other recent popular offerings from medici.tv include the New York Philharmonic's "Philharmonic 360" concert conducted by Alan Gilbert, Plácido Domingo's Operalia Competition Final Round at Beijing's NCPA, the Berlin Philharmonic summer concert at the Waldbühne in Berlin, Renée Fleming in Ariadne auf Naxos at Baden-Baden Festival and Rossini's Otello starring Cecilia Bartoli.

Building on the success of webcasts from the Verbier Festival in 2007, medici.tv has offered high-definition webcasts from many other leading festivals, including Aix-en-Provence, Saint-Denis, Aspen, Glyndebourne, Salzburg, and Lucerne; Parisian venues like the Opéra National de Paris, Auditorium du Louvre, Cité de la Musique, and Salle Pleyel; and from Milan's famed La Scala and Beijing's NCPA. Many operas and concerts performed by the world's top artists and orchestras have been webcast as live events and later as video-on-demand (VOD) for a limited time– all available for free. The list of artists presented at medici.tv is a "who's who" of today's stars, including Claudio Abbado, Martha Argerich, Daniel Barenboim, Pierre Boulez, Plácido Domingo, Renée Fleming, John Eliot Gardiner, Valery Gergiev, Bernard Haitink, Riccardo Muti, Anna Netrebko, Maurizio Pollini, Thomas Quasthoff, and Simon Rattle. Among the featured orchestras are such renowned ensembles as the Berlin Philharmonic, Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw, Orchestre National de France, Orchestre de Paris, FilarMonica Della Scala, and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe.

In addition to webcasts of more than 100 live concerts each year, medici.tv has partnered with the world's top artists and music institutions to offer subscriptions that give music lovers the opportunity to watch more than 1000 VOD programs. They include concerts, operas, recitals, documentaries, master classes, artist portraits and archival material by legendary musicians like Leonard Bernstein, Maria Callas, Glenn Gould, Herbert von Karajan, Yehudi Menuhin, David Oistrakh, Sviatoslav Richter, Mstislav Rostropovich, Arthur Rubinstein, Georg Solti, and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, as well as such leading film directors as Bruno Monsaingeon, Paul Smaczny, and Frank Scheffer. Recently, medici.tv added reference opera productions, including Don Carlo starring Rolando Villazón at the Royal Opera House, The Fairy Queen in Glyndebourne conducted by William Christie, and archive performances of Van Cliburn, to its library.

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