OperaGlass Works’ stage production of Britten’s The Turn Of The Screw was about to open at Wilton’s Music Hall in London, with celebrated conductor John Wilson leading a cast featuring Robert Murray (Quint and Prologue), Rhian Lois (Governess), Leo Jemison (Miles), Alys Mererid Roberts (Flora), Gweneth Ann Rand (Mrs. Grose), Francesca Chiejina (Miss Jessel), when lockdown began in spring 2020.
Rehearsals were in full swing and the production was at such an exciting point that it was decided to turn it into a film.
This is not just live capture. This is a new hybrid form that honors the spirit of the original theatre production but that also embraces the current constraints: the presence of the camera is declared and the intimacy of performing to a live audience is replaced by the singers singing directly into the lens.
Shot on location at Wilton’s Music Hall, the extraordinary atmosphere and charm of this mid-19th century theatre suits the haunting ambiguities of this opera perfectly. The whole space – every corner, not just the stage – is used to tell the story.
OperaGlass Works’ The Turn Of The Screw is directed by Dominic Best, Selina Cadell and Eliza Thompson, and produced by Selina Cadell and Eliza Thompson.
Airs Sunday, 6 June 2021 from 7:00 PM – 8:55 PM on BBC Four.