BRITTEN, B.: Turn of the Screw (The) (Festival d'Aix-en-Provence, 2001)

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- (Disc 1)
The Turn of the Screw, Op. 54
Libretto/Text Author: Piper, Myfanwy

Miss Jessel: McLaughlin, Marie
Mrs. Grose: Schaer, Hanna
Peter Quint: Miller, Marlin
The governess: Delunsch, Mireille

Set/Stage Designer: Peduzzi, Richard
Costume Designer: Bickel, Moidele
Lighting Designer: Bruguiere, Dominique
Stage Director: Bondy, Luc
Television Director: Bataillon, Vincent

Festival: Aix-en-Provence Festival
Playing Time: 01:47:25
Catalogue Number: BAC208
UPC: 3760115302082

Synopsis

In London, a young governess is hired by the elegant and mysterious tutor of two children to supervise their education at Bly Manor, deep in the English countryside. Her employer imposes one strict condition, however: that hereafter he not be contacted under any circumstances. Assisted by an elderly housekeeper, Mrs. Grose, the young woman arrives at Bly and soon discovers that the seemingly angelic children (Miles, twelve, and Flora, eight) conceal a dark secret, namely the pernicious ghosts of two former domestics, Peter Quint and Miss Jessel, who force the children to keep the secret of their suspicious past and plan to take them under their ultimate control. This is what the Governess must face, either with the children or without them. Flora will be saved in extremis, but little Miles will perish in escaping - perhaps - from Quint's demonic clutches.

That was the big event of the Aix-en-Provence Festival 2001, The Turn of the Screw by Benjamin Britten has triumphed in a newly restored Theatre du Jeu de Paume. The production imagined by Luc Bondy extracts the essential of the libretto of Myfanwy Piper inspired by a story by Henry James. In an atmosphere reminding Hitchcock movies, where we can feel the tension, the stage director's work keep the suspense of the spectator from the beginning to the end of the representation.

At the head of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, the young conductor Daniel Harding, makes marvels with the Britten's partition and reveals a perfect precision.

The distribution, mastered vocally and dramatically, is dominated by the governess of Mireille Delunsch with a radiant and poisonous tone. Olivier Dumait tells the prologue with an enthusiastic accurate dialectic, the housekeeper of Hanna Schaer is fascinating while Marlin Miller and Marie McLaughlin play ghosts with talent. Children are both from the Peter Kay Children's Choir and are greats illustrations of the British singing school.

This production has just been performed in the Theatre de la Monnaie in Bruxelles, going to the Theatre des Champs-Elysees from 7th to 12th of June before going to the Aix-en-Provence Festival in July.

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