|Britten with Star Wars|
Benjamin Britten’s 1954 opera The Turn of the Screw is a sensible choice for the New York City Opera: its chamber orchestration and emotional intimacy make it unsuitable for production by the Met Opera (against which every other company in town must define itself), and its claustrophobia would seem to offer a great opportunity for one of the company’s more innovative directors to create something creepy and unexpected. It also enjoys the name recognition to fill seats – which has, unfortunately, been an issue for the company’s more adventurous recent efforts. But while this production, which opened at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on Sunday afternoon, offers a step forward in musical values from some of the company’s other recent efforts, it doesn’t really do this striking work justice.Click here to read the whole thing.
It was good to see this opera being performed in the right kind of space, and it was good to hear the City Opera return to thoroughly professional musical values (some of their efforts last season left me in doubt), but the production is, er, screwed up.
The best voice and best performance in the cast belonged to Sara Jakubiak as the Governess. Note to Germans: she'll be singing in Dresden soon (Rosalinde) and is in the ensemble at Frankfurt starting next season.
I am sorry to have missed City Opera's production of Powder Her Face, but the scheduling was impossible for me.
The Turn of the Screw runs through March 2.
Photo copyright Richard Termine.