A young woman is hired by a wealthy but sinister man to tutor his two children at the family's isolated estate. When the woman gets there, she finds that the two children are not quite what... See full summary »
This is one of my favorites of all Britten's works! Perhaps others think melody is scarce in this chamber opera, but I must disagree. There are so many beautiful passages and arias: The Prologue, "Why did I come?", Governess' aria from scene 4 (Act 1), "Dear God is there no end", "Malo, malo", the duet of Quint and Jessel, and Quint's stunning coloratura flourish "Miles".
There is one casting hiccup: Flora is played by a very adult Machiko Obata--she looks like Miles' mother (but she has a wonderful voice, so I got over it). There are slightly funny shots of Mr. Bedford's prissy podium style--in between all scenes and acts--with his pinky fingers in the air. Those are just minute grievances in an overall sterling performance.
The performers are in perfect voice: Helen Field, Richard Greager, Menai Davies, Phyllis Cannan, and Sam Linay (he succeeds in evoking both innocence and sinisterness).
It is a very worthy presentation of Britten's masterwork and it shouldn't be missed!
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