Academic journal article Notes

The Turn of the Screw

Academic journal article Notes

The Turn of the Screw

Article excerpt

Benjamin Britten. The Turn of the Screw. DVD. City of London Sinfonia / Richard Hickox. With Lisa Milne, Diane Montague, Catrin Wyn Davies, Mark Padmore, Nicholas Kirby Johnson, and Caroline Wise. Waldron, Heathfield, East Sussex: Opus Arte, 2005. OA 0907 D. $29.99

Since its premiere in 1954, Benjamin Britten's opera The Turn of the Screw, has proved to be one of the composer's more enduring stage works. The opera's orchestra of only thirteen players and cast of six make it relatively easy to present, assuming of course that one has access to a boy soprano capable of learning and acting the pivotal role of Miles. Based on the notoriously ambiguous ghost tale by Henry James, the story afforded Britten the opportunity to explore once again one of his favorite themes: the corruption of innocence.

This film adaptation of the opera by director Katie Mitchell for BBC Wales television frees itself from the confines of a stage production. Mitchell makes use of the orchestral interludes between each scene to establish the presence of the two ghosts as very real threats to the children, as they lurk in shadowy hallways or stalk the grounds of the country house, spying on the new governess. Her cast is uniformly excellent, and musically this performance can hold its own against any of the competition, including the composer's own audio recording. Dramatically too there are no weak links, and the singers give performances which are compelling and natural. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.