Benjamin Britten’s ghostly masterpiece The Turn of the Screw is set to send a shiver down the spines of The Maltings’ audiences when the University of St Andrews’ opera company, Byre Opera, brings its production to Berwick-Upon-Tweed on Friday July 8 as part of Berwick Festival Opera.
Britten’s 1954 chamber opera The Turn of the Screw is based on Henry James’ 1898 chilling tale of the same name, whose storyline blurs the line between the natural and supernatural. The production will make use of special effects to reveal malevolent ghosts and the set design will include taxidermy and old and unused toys to set the tone of the gothic production.
The cast includes current students and recent graduates from the University of St Andrews, many of whom are recipients of music scholarships at the University’s Music Centre. The cast have enjoyed coaching from some of the UK’s leading opera singers, including tenor John Graham Hall and soprano Marie McLaughlin.
The Turn of the Screw will be accompanied by a hand-picked orchestra of some of Scotland’s finest musicians.
Dr Michael Downes, Director of Music at the University of St Andrews, said: “I’m very pleased to be bringing Byre Opera to The Maltings’ audiences for the first time. Spine-tingling ghost stories have an enduring appeal and The Turn of the Screw will be a truly chilling tale for a summer’s evening.”
Matthew Rooke, Artistic Director at The Maltings, said: “With Berwick Festival Opera now in its third year, garnering four star reviews in Scotland’s national press and wider recognition in England, we were excited to extend an invitation to Byre Opera to bring us this very rare opportunity to hear Britten’s masterpiece – never heard before in Berwick.”
The Turn of the Screw will be performed at The Maltings Theatre in Berwick-Upon-Tweed on Friday 8 July at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £15 (full price), £13.50 (concession over 60s), £10 (concession). Contact The Maltings’ box office on 01289 330999 or book online at http://www.maltingsberwick.co.uk/events/opera/3060.