Picture a day like this is the fourth collaboration between George Benjamin and Martin Crimp, whose acclaimed partnership produced Written on Skin, Lessons in Love and Violence, and Into the Little Hill. Playwright Martin Crimp’s text for the opera is a bittersweet fable on grief and renewal. It tells the story of a Woman (mezzo-soprano) who has lost her child; if she can meet one truly happy person before nightfall, they will return to life. In her search, across seven scenes, she meets a pair of lovers, a Composer and their assistant, an Artisan, Collector, and the mysterious Zabelle. Crimp’s text is both lyrical and immediate, matching the precision and intensity of Benjamin’s music.
Picture a day like this premiered at the Aix-en-Provence Festival in 2023; the 60-minute work is scored for five voices (S-S-MS-Ct-Bar) and twenty-two instrumentalists.