Ambassador review: The Turn of the Screw

The Turn of the Screw 
New Zealand Opera 
Written by: Benjamin Britten
Conductor: Holly Mathieson
Director: Thomas de Mallet Burgess

Reviewed by Xanthe: 

Chilling, haunting, and unforgettable. The NZ Opera production of The Turn of the Screw was the perfect balance of creepy and engaging, and played the story in a way that captured the audience’s attention and didn’t let go. The use of set was interesting and created such a place for the story to be told. The sheer talent of the cast, especially the two children, was incredible to listen to and really made the show into the spectacle it was. The Turn of the Screw plays on your perceptions of what is real and what is not and leaves you questioning and a little creeped out. After all, if you can’t tell who is real, then who can you trust?

Reviewed by Phil: 

The Turn of the screw is a classic British opera written by Myfanwy Piper and Composed by Benjamin Britten set to a gothic tone. The story tells of a young governess who is employed by the housekeeper, Mrs. Grose to instruct and care for two young children, Miles and Flora. However, visits from ghostly figures prove to be tough on all the inhabitants of the home and the governess herself.

From the moment that you take your seat in the venue, you notice the simple set design. This allows for the dramatic piece to jump from one location to the next with very little effort. This is very effective for the actors and lets them focus on what they need to in order to tell the story. The story was quite good and the music played over the dialogue was very appropriate. I did think that, in some parts, the Soprano actors were hard to hear, due to singing over top of each other and the music provided by the band.

All in all, I believe that “The Turn of The Screw” is a very good opera and one worth seeing at least once.

Reviewed by Gabbi:

A captivating performance in all respects. The set was particularly visually appealing and fabricated haunting illusions that blended seamlessly with the beautiful yet at times chilling performances of the singers. The eerie lighting paired with the frightening figures looming behind the curtain set the perfect atmosphere for such a chilling piece and truly made you question the divide between creations of the mind and reality. I was in awe of all the singers abilities to portray such raw, real emotion whilst reaching notes that seemed effortless, which accompanied by the exceptional music of the Orchestra was truly outstanding. I extend my gratitude to the cast and crew of ‘The Turn of the Screw’ for allowing me to come watch their performance, which has set the bar high for any future Operas I attend.