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Gothic Ghost Story, The Turn Of The Screw, Opens at The Dallas Opera

A ghost story is transformed into an eerie and magnificent opera, The Turn Of The Screw by Benjamin Britten, with a libretto by Myfanwy Piper. The dark and gripping tale is based on the atmospheric, nineteenth-century novella by Henry James. Certainly something different for those seeking unique experiences, this production from England’s Glyndebourne Festival Opera. It opens on Friday, March 17, 2017, at 7:30 p.m. at the Winspear Opera House. Three additional performances will take place on March 19(m), 22, and 25, 2017 with tickets starting at $19.

Nicole Paiement leads Britten’s enthralling twentieth-century score, mixing tonality and dissonance with the recurrent use of a twelve-note theme. The work will be staged by British director Francesca Gilpin, whose distinguished career has included film and video work, as well as frequent stage assignments in major productions for both the Royal Opera House and Glyndebourne.


The opera’s plot reads like a Gothic novel, but is vastly more mysterious and complex than most: A young governess is hired to care for two children at Bly, an English country house. The position, which initially seemed promising, soon turns puzzling when the governess sees what she believes to be a ghost. The housekeeper reveals a sordid series of events involving two former employees, now dead, who may have had inappropriate relationships with the children. Miles and Flora, the children, display bizarre and often troubling behavior. The ghosts torment them and the governess to such an extreme that she must decide whether to leave Bly House or stay in order to protect her charges. Is the danger immediate and real? Or conjured by a disturbed or deranged mind?

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