Imagine - George Benjamin: What Do You Want to Do When You Grow Up?

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Imagine - George Benjamin: What Do You Want to Do When You Grow Up?

Series 2018



You don't have to be a great fan of contemporary opera or George Benjamin's work to find this Imagine interesting. Benjamin is a major figure: he has been knighted for services to music and his operas are performed around the world, but he remains far from a household name.

Here, cameras sit in on rehearsals for his latest opera Lessons in Love and Violence (it’s intriguing to see how it comes together) and we hear how Benjamin was "consumed by music" as a child: we see his colourful lettering on the score of the first opera he wrote, aged eight. “Bedtime was six o’clock and I remember saying to my mother, ‘Can I have five more minutes to make up another tune in my head?’”


Following the creation of the British composer's latest opera, Lessons in Love and Violence, which premiered at the Royal Opera House this year. The film follows Benjamin's journey from composing songs at the age of just three to being transfixed by Fantasia and 2001: Space Odyssey, and his days as the youngest pupil ever of Messiaen in Paris.

Cast & Crew

Director Jill Nicholls
Executive Producer Tanya Hudson
Producer Jill Nicholls
Series Editor Alan Yentob
Documentary Arts