The Turn of the Screw

Our season opened on October 30 with a powerful yet intimate production of the haunting thriller The Turn of the Screw by Benjamin Britten.

The reviews:

This production garnered praise nationally as well as locally, with strongly positive reviews in Opera News as well as The Register-Guard and Eugene Art Talk.

“Michael Sakir’s conducting was cohesive, brisk and clear, much like Britten’s on his recording. The Soreng acoustic, neither particularly resonant nor dry, sounded satisfactory and true from rear orchestra level…. Tenor Brendan Tuohy, singing superbly as the Prologue and Peter Quint, was the vocal standout…. Soprano Laura Wayte, phrasing and inflecting eloquently…., was a sympathetic, sane Governess. Hard-to-cast Miles was sung by college-undergrad soprano Carolyn Quick, whose pure timbre was such that anyone blindfolded would have taken her for a precocious boy treble. Soprano Emily Way, not much older, was a lovely, lively, girlish Flora of well-focused tone. Tess Altiveros lavished a ripe, sensual lyric soprano on Miss Jessel. Mezzo Beth Madsen Bradford’s formidable Mrs. Grose was powerfully…voiced. This was canny casting: none of the women could have been mistaken for another…. For the final face-off among the Governess, Miles and Quint, there was utter silence from a gripped audience.” — Mark Mandel, Opera News. Read more

“Eugene Opera opened its new and unprecedentedly full season with a rich, basic performance of English composer Benjamin Britten’s 1954 opera version of the creepy James ghost story…. it’s a great, haunted and intriguing show.”Bob Keefer, Eugene Art Talk. Read more

Tenor Brendan Tuohy sang an exceptionally terrifying and oppressive Peter Quint. His magnificent voice paired with the dynamics between both Carolyn Quick’s haunting Miles and Tess Altiveros’ passionate Miss Jessen proved to be as engaging as it was disturbing. Local soprano Laura Wayte impressed her Eugene audience yet again with her captivating performance as The Governess…. Beth Madsen Bradford as Mrs. Grose added a depth to the role not often seen…. Emily Way’s Flora was very well portrayed…. The orchestra, led by guest conductor Michael Sakir, was a true delight…. this is a performance that will be discussed for years to come” — Alison Kaufman, The Register-Guard.

Click the video below for some audience comments and clips from the show:

Previews in the News:

“Benjamin Britten’s spooky 1954 chamber opera haunts Eugene on Halloween weekend” — Gary Herrington, Oregon ArtsWatch

“Things that go bump in the night” — Brett Campbell, Eugene Weekly

“Creepy spooks for opera folks” — William Kennedy, Eugene Weekly

Click the video below for a preview from the October 27 dress rehearsal.

The story and the music:

A young governess is hired to care for two beautiful but neglected children in a remote English country house. She begins to realize they are haunted by secrets that may destroy them.

Based on the Gothic ghost novella by Henry James, this eerily beautiful chamber opera premiered in 1954 and has been performed frequently ever since.

Plot Synopsis

Read more and watch video excerpts from this spell-binding opera:

A story of two women, two children, two ghosts (with video)

Gothic novella, haunting opera (with videos)

A fateful tug of war (with video)

The cast:

The Turn of the Screw featured six singers with ties to the Pacific Northwest – a dynamic “dream team” of established and emerging stars. Read more

The Turn of the Screw cast at rehearsal
The Turn of the Screw cast at rehearsal


This production of The Turn of the Screw was made possible by production sponsors Jonak Law Group and the Nils and Jewel Hult Endowment of the Oregon Community Foundation: Arts Foundation of Western Oregon, principal artist sponsor Joyce Pytkowicz, and opening night performance sponsors: the “Wish Upon a Star” contributors at the 2015 Annual Dinner and Auction. Eugene Opera is deeply grateful to these sponsors.

Banner image: Peter Quint (Brenden Tuohy) and Miles (Carolyn Quick), image by Cliff Coles/Eugene Opera