Opera North’s version of the 19th century novel came to The Lowry this week.
Benjamin Britten revived the novel into a production in the 1950’s, however Opera North made the story their own with the eerie tale of a Governess haunted by spirits.
The Turn of the Screw tells the story of a Governess who is employed to take care of siblings Flora and Miles, under the housekeeper Mrs Grose. After forming a strong bond with the children, the Governess is frightened when she sees the ghost of a man at the window.
After describing the ghost to the housekeeper, she is shocked to learn that it is Peter Quint, the valet to the children’s guardian. It is not long before she is seeing another ghost, this time the recently deceased previous governess, Miss Jessel.
When the children go missing in the middle of the night, it is apparent of the strong relationship that the governess has built with Flora and Miles- this bond being one of the biggest highlights of the production.
The governess’s hysteria continues into the second act with nobody believing her about seeing the ghosts. The pain and torment in her singing highlighted the struggles she was going through. It was Sarah Tynan’s debut role as The Governess yet her convincing performance as the character and the reception she received from the audience showed promise for her future career.
The set and staging was another highlight, showing the bedroom of the Governess- equipped with the furniture, with the tower of the house and a large window looming in the background. Jennifer Clark and Tim Gasiorek as young Flora and Miles used the set fantastically, energetically jumping around it throughout.
The music was key to the narrative with the musicians helping to tell the story, lead by the conductor Leo McFall.
Though this was a one night only performance at The Lowry, details of future performances of The Turn of the Screw can be found here: https://www.operanorth.co.uk/whats-on/the-turn-of-the-screw/