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Archives — Lyrical

The Turn of the Screw


07 – 13 Apr 2021

“I am the hidden life that stirs when the candle is out. Upstairs and down, the footsteps barely heard. ”

It is a curious story... Summoned to a manor house in the English countryside to take care of two orphans, a governess has to cope with extraordinary phenomena: what happened to her predecessor and her lover? Where do the voices the children hear come from? What is this past that they seem never to be able to heal?

Infused with the writing of Henry James - the author of the short story that inspired it - The Turn of the Screw plunges us into a disturbing world where the concept of objective reality gradually dissolves. James's reader and Britten's spectator lead the enquiry, grasping the facts through the accounts of a mysterious narrator, a maid and children whom they are not sure they can trust and whose very existence they sometimes end up doubting. A sense of vertigo. Stage director Eva-Maria Höckmayr loves these labyrinthine works, the quicksand in which the characters struggle until they lose their footing, the slow decomposition of what we believed to be the truth.

As the twentieth century of music bids farewell to tonality, Britten keeps of the beaten track. In the aftermath of the Second World War, he formed the English Opera Group, which sought to rebuild the operatic arts with the economy of means implicit in a world in ruins. For The Turn of the Screw he composed music where harmony flirts with dissonance, just as ghosts mingle with the living on the misty shores of the Lake at Bly.


The Turn of the Screw has been recorded and will be broadcasted on our website, on ViàVosges TV and Qwest TV soon. 


The Turn of the Screw, opera in two acts with prologue
at Teatro La Fenice in Venice, September 14, 1954

New production Opéra national de Lorraine

Myfanwy Piper, based on Henry James' short story of the same name

Benjamin Britten



Bas Wiegers

Lorraine National Opera Orchestra


Eva-Maria Höckmayr


Mark Schachtsiek

Sets and costumes

Thilo Reuther


Ruth Stofer


Cécile Giovansili-Vissière

Lea Theus

Stage direction assistant 

Victor Labarthe d'Arnoux

Sets assistant

Alexandra Costa Pinto

Video and costumes assistant


Sarah-Jane Brandon

Peter Quint and Narrator

Stuart Jackson


Daniel Todd (Young singer from the Trinity Boys Choir)


Shira Patchornik

Mrs. Grose

Allison Cook

Miss Jessel

Susanna Hurrell


Emmanuel Olivier

Little Flora 

Iseult Picard


Erwan Demois, France Duval, Maël Saunier, Ydris Steinmetz et Aisan Taszhanova


See also

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