Need Opinions The Turn of the Screw

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lennygoran
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Need Opinions The Turn of the Screw

Post by lennygoran » Mon Sep 24, 2018 5:47 am

I'm not familiar with this Britten work but I just read the synopsis at wiki. Anyone have any thoughts on it?

In mid Nov Juilliard Opera presents Britten’s 'The Turn of the Screw'

Regards, Len

jbuck919
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Re: Need Opinions The Turn of the Screw

Post by jbuck919 » Mon Sep 24, 2018 6:03 am

I have heard it and it's as good as any opera Britten ever wrote. You may take that with the ambiguity with which it was intended. :D

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

lennygoran
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Re: Need Opinions The Turn of the Screw

Post by lennygoran » Mon Sep 24, 2018 6:06 am

jbuck919 wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 6:03 am
I have heard it and it's as good as any opera Britten ever wrote. You may take that with the ambiguity with which it was intended. :D
Thanks--if it's as good or even a little less good than Billy Budd or Peter Grimes I gotta try to go! Regards, Len :D

John F
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Re: Need Opinions The Turn of the Screw

Post by John F » Mon Sep 24, 2018 6:56 am

It's smaller-scale than "Grimes" and "Budd," and a bit less melodically appealing; kind of like "The Rape of Lucretia," which I believe you've seen. But it's one of Britten's more popular operas.
John Francis

lennygoran
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Re: Need Opinions The Turn of the Screw

Post by lennygoran » Mon Sep 24, 2018 7:36 am

John F wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 6:56 am
It's smaller-scale than "Grimes" and "Budd," and a bit less melodically appealing; kind of like "The Rape of Lucretia," which I believe you've seen. But it's one of Britten's more popular operas.
John thanks! I'm going for it! Regards, Len

jbuck919
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Re: Need Opinions The Turn of the Screw

Post by jbuck919 » Mon Sep 24, 2018 7:46 am

lennygoran wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 7:36 am
John F wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 6:56 am
It's smaller-scale than "Grimes" and "Budd," and a bit less melodically appealing; kind of like "The Rape of Lucretia," which I believe you've seen. But it's one of Britten's more popular operas.
John thanks! I'm going for it! Regards, Len
And I think you should. One issue with Britten is that, although his own lover was Peter Pears of appropriate age, he chose all his librettos with a semi-pederastic theme. Henry James is now known to have been a homosexual, however clandestine, as were Thomas Mann and Herman Melville, and the great short story "Turn of the Screw" cannot have any interpretation that does not involve this. Just saying.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

John F
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Re: Need Opinions The Turn of the Screw

Post by John F » Mon Sep 24, 2018 8:44 am

Not so "Peter Grimes," "The Rape of Lucretia," "Gloriana," "A Midsummer Night's Dream," "Noyes Fludde," "Owen Wingrave" (which is about pacifism, not sexuality), and the three parables for church performance, for starters. And in those whose themes directly or obliquely relate to homosexuality, that condition is seen as destructive - Claggart in "Billy Budd" and Peter Quint in "Turn of the Screw," which quotes Yeats: "The ceremony of innocence is drowned." It's a side issue at best. Britten's recurring theme is the outsider or outcast, for whatever reason, and the tragic price such individuals pay. This is something that Britten, not only as a homosexual but as a pacifist during World War II, knew well; Leonard Bernstein called him "a man at odds with the world."
John Francis

jbuck919
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Re: Need Opinions The Turn of the Screw

Post by jbuck919 » Mon Sep 24, 2018 10:54 am

John F wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 8:44 am
Not so "Peter Grimes," "The Rape of Lucretia," "Gloriana," "A Midsummer Night's Dream," "Noyes Fludde," "Owen Wingrave" (which is about pacifism, not sexuality), and the three parables for church performance, for starters. And in those whose themes directly or obliquely relate to homosexuality, that condition is seen as destructive - Claggart in "Billy Budd" and Peter Quint in "Turn of the Screw," which quotes Yeats: "The ceremony of innocence is drowned." It's a side issue at best. Britten's recurring theme is the outsider or outcast, for whatever reason, and the tragic price such individuals pay. This is something that Britten, not only as a homosexual but as a pacifist during World War II, knew well; Leonard Bernstein called him "a man at odds with the world."
I don't know several of those operas, but Rape of Lucretia is perfectly awful on its own terms, Gloriana is an obvious vehicle for Pears whom I heard sing parts of it in college,and Peter Grimes is clearly about a man who loved boys. "Peter Grimes, I here advise you, do not get another boy apprentice."

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

maestrob
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Re: Need Opinions The Turn of the Screw

Post by maestrob » Mon Sep 24, 2018 11:24 am

lennygoran wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 7:36 am
John F wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 6:56 am
It's smaller-scale than "Grimes" and "Budd," and a bit less melodically appealing; kind of like "The Rape of Lucretia," which I believe you've seen. But it's one of Britten's more popular operas.
John thanks! I'm going for it! Regards, Len
Great, Len! I also encourage you to do so!

Here's my favorite DVD of the work, led by Steuart Bedford, who led the world premiere of Death in Venice in 1975 at the MET w/Peter Pears. It's OOP, but maybe you can find it online.

Image

John F
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Re: Need Opinions The Turn of the Screw

Post by John F » Mon Sep 24, 2018 2:09 pm

jbuck919 wrote:Rape of Lucretia is perfectly awful on its own terms, Gloriana is an obvious vehicle for Pears whom I heard sing parts of it in college,and Peter Grimes is clearly about a man who loved boys. "Peter Grimes, I here advise you, do not get another boy apprentice."
Nonetheless, these are all Britten operas and none of them have to do with homosexuality. In "Gloriana" the central role is Gloriana herself, Queen Elizabeth, and her heterosexual affair with her then favorite Essex (Pears). In "Peter Grimes," far from "loving" boys, Grimes's scene with the new apprentice shows no affection at all, to the contrary; he mistreats his apprentices and it's a bruise on the current apprentice's face that shows Helen that "it's begun again." Grimes is advised to get a grown man to help him instead of the usual boy apprentice, not because there's any suspicion of homosexuality but because a man could defend himself as a boy couldn't. It's all there in the opera; your gloss on it is not.
Last edited by John F on Mon Sep 24, 2018 4:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
John Francis

lennygoran
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Re: Need Opinions The Turn of the Screw

Post by lennygoran » Mon Sep 24, 2018 3:46 pm

maestrob wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 11:24 am
Great, Len! I also encourage you
Brian thanks-now BAM weighs in with this version! Regards, Len

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Strange Window: The Turn of the Screw
DEC 12—DEC 15, 2018

THEATER
The Builders Association
Directed by Marianne Weems
Created by Moe Angelos, James Gibbs, Marianne Weems and the company


Part of the 2018 Next Wave Festival
“The more I see in it, the more I fear. I don’t know what I don’t see—what I don’t fear!” Trapped somewhere between memory and nightmare, a lone governess weaves her chilling tale of a spectre haunting her wards in this prescient new interpretation of Henry James’ gothic classic. Conjuring a world in which truth is relative and trauma haunts our every step, The Builders Association (HOUSE / DIVIDED, 2012 Next Wave) under the direction of Marianne Weems employs clever stagecraft, media design, and seductive storytelling to defend the sanity of a woman, while holding the audience in her candlelit spell.

jserraglio
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Re: Need Opinions The Turn of the Screw

Post by jserraglio » Mon Sep 24, 2018 3:49 pm

jbuck919 wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 10:54 am
Rape of Lucretia is perfectly awful on its own terms
True, if by 'on its own terms', one means chamber-size genius. I saw the opera live and have listened to every recording (live and studio) I can lay hands on: I was moved by this work, almost as much as by Poulenc's Dialogues.

Britten may not have been the greatest British composer of the past century (there is Elgar), but he is my favorite. The 3 smaller-scale operas of his I've seen (Lucretia, Herring and MND) worked very well on stage: the music was challenging, heartfelt, gorgeous.

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