Auditions open for The Turn of the Screw children's roles

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New Zealand Opera is inviting talented young singers to audition for the company's 2019 production of Britten's chilling chamber opera The Turn of the Screw.

The new production will be directed by General Director Thomas de Mallet Burgess with Holly Mathieson conducting, Tracy Grant Lord designing the sets and costumes and Matthew Marshall as Lighting Designer.

Performed in the intimacy of Wellington's Opera House and Auckland's ASB Waterfront Theatre in October 2019, the early casting call begins the process of finding the right children to play the enigmatic roles of Flora and Miles in both Wellington and Auckland.

"We're looking for four very talented children to play or understudy Flora and Miles," says de Mallet Burgess. "The roles require very specific trained voices, with steady tone, clear pitch and the ability to project without amplification."

Flora: Female, Soprano
Age 14+ to play 11-12 years old. A young, seemingly innocent and playful girl, with macabre curiosities. Pure, classical voice of soloist quality with substantial volume. 

Miles: Male, Boy Soprano
Age 10+ to play 12-14 years old. After being expelled from school, an innocent looking young boy reveals that he has a troubled past. Voice must be unbroken and of soloist quality with substantial volume. 

The first step in the audition process is to submit an audition video by 18 January. Selected applicants will be invited to participate in a finalists workshop in mid-February, with the final casting to be announced in late February. Details are available at 

"The Turn of the Screw is a ghost story with some dark themes, so we'll be working closely with parents to ensure the children selected are fully aware of what the opera is about and able to cope with the subject matter," de Mallet Burgess said.

"This is a wonderful wonderful opportunity for young singers to play central roles in a professional opera, alongside a first rate national and international New Zealand cast."

Tickets to The Turn of the Screw are available as part of subscription packages now at and go sale via Ticketmaster on Monday 26 November. More information on the auditions is available at

Download the application form

An audition tip from Madeleine Pierard, who will play Miss Jessel The Turn of the Screw