Adrian Osmond | THE TURN OF THE SCREW
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ABOUT

Britten’s The Turn of the Screw is a brilliant adaptation of Henry James’s classic story.  A young governess accepts a post caring for two orphaned children on a remote country estate.  Gradually she becomes convinced that the spirits of a dead valet and the former governess are planning to possess the children.

CREATIVE TEAM

Director 

Conductor 

Designer 

Lighting

ETO

Governess 

Peter Quint 

Mrs Grose 

Miss Jessel 

Flora

Miles 

Miles

Répétiteur 

Assistant Director 

Production Manager 

Costume Supervisor

DSM 

General Director 

OTC

Conductor 

Governess 

Quint 

Mrs Grose

Miss Jessel 

Flora 

Miles 

Miles 

Adrian Osmond

Stuart Stratford

Michael Vale

Aideen Malone

__________

Emma Gane

Christopher Steele

Christine Botes

Catherine Griffiths

Rebekah Coffey

Zico Shaker

William Sheldon

Nicholas Bosworth

Helen Eastman

David Ferrier

Adrian Gwillym

Jennie Anderson

James Conway

__________

Celso Antunes

Sylvia O’Brien

Christopher Steele

Virginia Kerr

Catherine Hegarty

Rebekah Coffey

Neil Dexter

Ken Waide

DIRECTOR’S NOTES

Part of what makes this opera such a masterpiece is that the darkest themes which brew underneath are never laid out explicitly, particularly those of sexual awareness and abuse.  This quote from the libretto shows this ambiguity brilliantly –

“O Miles – I cannot bear to lose you!
You shall be mine, and I shall save you.”

The Governess is speaking about a child, but the language used is how you might address a lover.  Similarly, Miles teeters between acting like a young innocent and displaying knowledge and experience that far exceed that of his years.  (Sally Mann’s photos in Immediate Family were a potent source of inspiration, as well as those of Lewis Carroll.)

Michael Vale’s set was a sea of shimmering black, featuring sliding panels.  This enabled furniture, props and characters to appear and disappear in an instant, conveying the fragmenting state of the Governess’s distorted mind.

The physical appearance of both spirits remained frozen in their moment of death – Quint with a bleeding head, and Miss Jessel pregnant, constantly carrying a child within her that would never be born.

The final confrontation plays out like the climax of a custody battle, with two surrogate parents each determined to own the child outright.  In our production, the Governess gripped Miles by one arm; Quint, the dead valet, gripped him by the other, with each tug threatening to tear the boy in two. Forced to choose, Miles rejects Quint, but breaks under the emotional strain; and at the very moment that the Governess thinks she has saved him, Miles dies in her arms.