Dramatic tension at the heart of The Turn of the Screw

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New Zealand Opera moves into the intimate surrounds of Auckland’s ASB Waterfront Theatre and Wellington’s Opera House and next month for its chilling new production of Benjamin Britten and Myfanwy Piper’s operatic thriller The Turn of the Screw.

The cast comprises four of New Zealand’s most acclaimed operatic performers in the adult roles - Anna Leese as the Governess, Jared Holt performing Prologue and Quint, Patricia Wright as Mrs Grose and Madeleine Pierard returns from a busy career in London to play Mrs Jessel. The children’s roles of Miles and Flora are shared by talented young performers Lukas Maher, Alexandros Swallow, Flora Olivia Forbes and Alexa Harwood.

Director Thomas de Mallet Burgess says that The Turn of the Screw is built on ambiguity, with anxiety at the heart of the story.

“Audiences will need to decide for themselves whether the ghosts are real or a product of other people’s imagination. It’s like a detective story, where the audience reads the clues and works out what is happening.”

Everything in the production is designed to heighten tension, from Britten’s brilliant music to Tracey Grant Lord’s enigmatic designs.

The Turn of the Screw is a very theatrical piece. We’ve been working hard in rehearsals to create a work of tense theatre. Our wonderful cast are already delivering some wonderful moments as we get stuck into rehearsals.

“When everything comes together on stage it’s going to be very unsettling.”

The Turn of the Screw premieres Wellington’s Opera House on 3 October for two performances, before transferring to Auckland for three shows at ASB Waterfront Theatre from 18 October.  Sung in English, the opera will feature chamber ensembles drawn from Orchestra Wellington and Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra.

Tickets are on sale now, with very limited tickets remaining for the Auckland season. For more information visit our mini guide.

The Turn of the Screw
Opera House, Wellington
3 & 5 October

ASB Waterfront Theatre, Auckland
18, 20 & 23 October

Book at Ticketmaster.co.nz