THE TURN OF THE SCREW

Benjamin Britten (1913-1976) 

Opera in 1 prologue and 2 acts
Stage Direction : Luc Bondy

Prologue Olivier Dumait
The Maid Mireille Delunsch
Mrs Grose Hanna Schaer
Peter Quint Marlin Miller
Miss Jessel Marie McLaughlin

Mahler Chamber Orchestra
Musical direction : Daniel Harding

BAC208 / Opera recorded live at the Festival d'Aix en Provence in 2001

In London, a young governess is hired by the elegant and mysterious tutor of two children to supervise their education at Bly Manor, deep in the English countryside. Her employer imposes one strict condition, however: that hereafter he not be contacted under any circumstances. Assisted by an elderly housekeeper, Mrs. Grose, the young woman arrives at Bly and soon discovers that the seemingly angelic children (Miles, twelve, and Flora, eight) conceal a dark secret, namely the pernicious ghosts of two former domestics, Peter Quint and Miss Jessel, who force the children to keep the secret of their suspicious past and plan to take them under their ultimate control. This is what the Governess must face, either with the children or without them. Flora will be saved in extremis, but little Miles will perish in escaping – perhaps – from Quint’s demonic clutches.

That was the big event of the Aix-en-Provence Festival 2001, “The Turn of the Screw” by Benjamin Britten has triumphed in a newly restored Théâtre du Jeu de Paume. The production imagined by Luc Bondy extracts the essential of the libretto of Myfanwy Piper inspired by a story by Henry James. In an atmosphere reminding Hitchcock movies, where we can feel the tension, the stage director’s work keep the suspense of the spectator from the beginning to the end of the representation.

At the head of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, the young conductor Daniel Harding, makes marvels with the Britten’s partition and reveals a perfect precision.

The distribution, mastered vocally and dramatically, is dominated by the governess of Mireille Delunsch with a radiant and poisonous tone. Olivier Dumait tells the prologue with an enthusiastic accurate dialectic, the housekeeper of Hanna Schaer is fascinating while Marlin Miller and Marie McLaughlin play ghosts with talent. Children are both from the Peter Kay Children’s Choir and are greats illustrations of the British singing school .

This production has just been performed in the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Bruxelles, going to the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées from 7th to 12th of june before going to the Aix-en-Provence Festival in july.

« Haunting power of real ghosts » Michael Kennedy – The Sunday Telegraph

  • Director: Vincent Bataillon
  • Length: 107 min - Image: 16/9 NTSC
  • Audio: PCM Stereo / Dolby digital 5.1
  • Subtitles: French / English / German / Spanish
  • Zones: All Zones - 1 disc(s) - Release date:
THE TURN OF THE SCREW, a DVD rewarded by Diapason et ARTE THE TURN OF THE SCREW, a DVD rewarded by l'acadmie Charles Cros THE TURN OF THE SCREW, a DVD rewarded by Classica THE TURN OF THE SCREW, a DVD rewarded by Classica