mon 09/12/2019

The Turn of the Screw, Opera North | reviews, news & interviews

The Turn of the Screw, Opera North

The Turn of the Screw, Opera North

Chilly but compelling: Britten's take on James's ghost story is revived in Leeds

Not fun, but compelling: Fflur Wyn, Elizabeth Atherton and James Micklethwaite in 'The Turn of the Screw'Bill Cooper

To paraphrase a cliché, it’s rare to leave a theatre humming the lighting. But here, Matthew Haskins’ lighting designs help make this production so powerful and evocative, whether projecting grotesque, distorted shadows on the back wall of Madeleine Boyd’s claustrophobic set, or illuminating characters’ subtle facial expressions. Dawn and dusk are both beautifully realised, and when we’re finally shown a brightly lit stage at the opera’s shocking close, you almost have to shield your eyes.

The score never fails to surprise and beguile, but despite its brilliance the chilliness always keeps me at arm's length

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I honestly belive that Opera North is not only the best opera company in England and the UK but it is also the UK's greatest arts asset. The productions are almost unanimously praised but I still think it is over looked by many. I thinks that more should be made of Opera North and the productions should be recored not only for DVD but for airing on TV. Their productions are well on par if not better then many of the Met's and ROH's production. Who agrees?

Some are, some aren't. To say it's "the UK's greatest arts asset" is clearly a little over the top, though. And there are some big things with big voices that are beyond its brief. But, agreed, what it does it obviously does very well indeed.

As Alice says, it's a mixture, but there's no doubt that they provide an impressively high level set of productions each year. I've love to see some of their productions appearing on DVD - it would simultaneously raise their profile (which they deserve) and help them reach even more people.

Fantastic orchestra too - which also enjoys a separate existence giving orchestral concerts. No other UK opera orchestra does that...

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