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  • Britten: The Turn of the Screw (Toby Spence, Miah Persson, Susan Bickley, Giselle Allen - Glyndebourne Production) [DVD] [2012]
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Britten: The Turn of the Screw (Toby Spence, Miah Persson, Susan Bickley, Giselle Allen - Glyndebourne Production) [DVD] [2012]

8 customer reviews

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Britten: The Turn of the Screw (Toby Spence, Miah Persson, Susan Bickley, Giselle Allen - Glyndebourne Production) [DVD] [2012] + Britten: Billy Budd [DVD] [2011] [2010]
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Product details

  • Format: Classical, Colour, DVD-Video, Import, PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Fra Musica
  • DVD Release Date: 22 Oct. 2012
  • Run Time: 111 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0095I9B3A
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 18,267 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

This DVD has been shorlisted for the Opera Awards 2013 in the DVD catagory. It is indeed a curious story , as the Prologue says. A remote English country house, an old and faithful housekeeper, two young orphan children and an eager new governess sent down from London to look after them. But all is not quite as it seems in the sheltered world of Bly. Spirits from the past increasingly encroach upon the realm of the living. And one question keeps worming its way into the governess s mind: what exactly did happen between the children, their former governess and the deceased manservant, Peter Quint? Britten s brilliantly scored, insidiously compelling adaptation of Henry James s novella takes its themes of childish innocence and adult corruption, then twists and turns them to disturbing and ultimately devastating effect. Jonathan Kent s eerily unsettling staging has been recorded at the Glyndebourne Festival conducted by Glyndebourne on Tour s Music Director, Jakub Hrusa.

Review

the casting is ideal ... It s a real contribution to our musical knowledge of the score ... A strong recommendation here for what is, above all, a tight overall cast performance, helpfully filmed by Francois Roussillon and with clear, natural sound for the chamber-size band. --Mike Ashman, Gramophone February 2013

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By James Argles on 7 Jan. 2013
Format: DVD
I agree with everything I Giles has written, except that I wish I had his strength of constitution....I broke down in tears twice whilst watching this extraordinary performance!!!! It would indeed be invidious to pick out individual performers for special praise....they are all excellent....superb sets, lighting and otchestral playing under Hrusa, clearly an emerging talent....but there are some moments which stop the breath and even the heart - Quint's seduction of Miles at bath-time - Flora by the lake - and, my word, anyone who can listen in this amazing performance to Miles's "Malo" song, or its reprise by the Governess at the end, without their heart breaking at least a little probably doesn't have one!!!

As Fischer-Dieskau said at the end of the premiere of the War Requiem, "I was completely undone; I did not know where to hide my face". I felt the same after watching this. Try it and see.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By ADRead on 17 Feb. 2013
Format: DVD
I have never been particularly keen on opera but having recently discovered the music of Benjamin Britten and read excellent reviews of this production I decided to take the plunge and buy this more modern opera.

Wow - what a revelation! This production is so engaging, the set is so creative with excellent use of the two revolves and being in English is easy to follow without turning the subtitles on. Even our eight year old was engrossed.

However it is the performances that really mark this out as memorable. Full marks to all but particularly Toby Spence whose portrayal of Quint stayed in my mind for days after - by understanding Britten's desire to move away from the traditional Victorian ghost story, he has created a Quint more realistic and thus much more disturbing.

I recommend watching the first time with subtitles off to capture the main thrust of the story and then turn them on for the second viewing to really understand the nuances of the plot and the full emotion of the piece.
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32 of 38 people found the following review helpful By I. Giles HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 26 Nov. 2012
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This disc, recorded in 2011 is the third version of this production put on at Glyndebourne and, as Jonathan Kent the producer explains in the very informative bonus films, each time there has been a précising down with an ever increasing concentration of impact.
The period is the 1950's, the period in which the story was written. There has been a deliberate attempt to avoid `hiding' behind a Victorian ghost story and rather there is portrayed a psychological drama set in the last decade of believable innocence.

The staging is very simple in so far as there is a revolving stage with a central large glass panel like an enormous window that is tilted and turned in all directions. This glass panel acts as a see-through screen mediating between the real and imagined, the inside and outside and many other pairs of opposites as the story progresses.

The cast in the opera are just six accompanied by a very small chamber orchestra which only rarely plays together. The instruments are imaginatively used in small combinations to create remarkable and effective textures ideal to create the shifting moods of the story.

The opera starts with a prologue taken by Toby Spence who also takes the part of Peter Quince. In this he acts in an un-ghostly manner and in this way achieves a character of utter evil. The two children are played by Joanna Songi as Flora and Thomas Parfitt as Miles. Both are note perfect and this has to be seen as a remarkable achievement from a 12 year old boy. Mrs Grose is an effective housekeeper, played by Susan Bickley and Mrs Jessel is strongly played by Giselle Allen. The stage star of the evening has to be Miah Persson as the governess whose innocence is equally destroyed by events.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By D. Williams on 8 Mar. 2013
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
If you are a Britten fan, this has to be the best production and performance of his opera ever. So often, Glynebourne productions tick all the boxes and Turn of the Screw is no exception.
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