The Turn of the Screw I have always considered one of Britten's finest operas along with Peter Grimes, Albert Herring and Billy Budd. A Midsummer Night's Dream I'm also fond of. Granted, Britten's style is not for all tastes, I personally like it(though admittedly it grew on me overtime) but can definitely see why others may not. This production is really very good, though perhaps not the best one(possibly the Lisa Milne performance). My only real complaints are the unintentionally funny moment where Jessel gives Flora a modern lipstick as a gift and while suitably moving and sometimes eerie I didn't care for the somewhat nasal sound of Nazan Fikret as Flora. Aside from these, there is much to admire. The costume and set design are simple, and manage to be elegant and brooding. The stage direction is intelligent overall, allowing much of the hair-raising moments(like Quint at the window) have their effect. The orchestral playing is evocative and very musical while the conducting does show an understanding of Britten's style and the opera's atmosphere. It is also interesting to have the Prologue sung by the children's uncle, which did work very well. The performances are overall wonderful. Gregory Monk's Miles is arch and very believable, and Marlin Miller is a florid and successfully conflicted Quint. Marie McLaughlin is wonderfully spooky Jessel also, but I found the best performance to be that of Mireille Delunsch, beautiful singing, intelligent musicianship and a great sense of the Governess' high drama and poignant grief. All in all, a really great performance of one of Britten's best works(to me that is). 9/10 Bethany Cox
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