The Music Commission of the Círculo del Liceo hosted the conference prior to George Benjamin's opera "Lessons in Love and Violence", conducted by Luis Gago, musicologist, teacher, manager, publisher, writer and translator.
Lessons in Love and Violence is the second opera by the George Benjamin-Martin Crimp partnership. Based on medieval sources, it relates the all-consuming relationship between Edward II of England and his lover Piers Gaveston, which disrupts court life and the political well-being of the country, showing us the fatal political consequences personal attachments can have, for the King's also has a close but troubled relationship with his wife Isabel and his two children.
The lessons in composition and musical analysis which Benjamin received from Messiaen taught him the importance of rich orchestration, rhythm and colour. This highly imaginative score captures to a tee the claustrophobic, sensuous atmosphere and the intense emotions of the drama. Director Katie Mitchell offers a visually striking contemporary mise en scène, set in an ultra-modern Scandinavian castle.
Luis Gago is a musicologist, teacher, manager, editor, writer and translator. He has a Law degree from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid and professor of violin and chamber music from the Conservatory of Music of Madrid. He has been coordinator of the RTVE Symphony Orchestra and editor of the Teatro Real of Madrid, as well as deputy director and Program Manager of Radio 2 at the National Radio of Spain and member of the Group of Experts of Serious Music of the Broadcasting European Union. He has made radio programs for the BBC and is the author of numerous articles and monographs, the book Bach (1995) and the Spanish version of the New Harvard Dictionary of Music. He is also editor and music critic of Revista Libros, music critic of El País and co-director (with Tabea Zimmermann) of the Chamber Music Festival of the Beethoven-Haus in Bonn.