Young and coffee in varying degrees, Kat also says stuff @ThoroughlyMode
Music can really build tension. If you don't believe me then try watching Jaws on mute. So it's easy to see why an opera composer might deem Henry James' novella 'Turn of the Screw', one of the world's most famous stories of ghosts, proper fodder for a new work. And Benjamin Britten was the composer who took up the gauntlet, so it's presented in the story's original tongue: English.
Incongruous with the story: Outside Glyndebourne, by Flickr user HerryLawford
This tale drips with atmosphere. Set in an old country house – like the one the Glyndeborne Festival is held in – it's the story of a new Governess, charged with two children. Her predecessor and one of the other members of the houses' staff were lovers who'd both died, and when the new Governess begins to see a male and female figure around the grounds of the house she becomes sure that these figures are the ghosts of the houses' former inhabitants. And she then becomes sure that the children can see the ghosts as well. But what's real and what isn't is a difficult truth of tease out.
Incongruous with the story: Inside Glyndebourne, by Flickr user HerryLawford
Britten's score adds something even darker to the story, highlighting the themes of childish innocence and adult corruption, which seems to confuse the truth of the situation even more. And the production, by Jonathan Kent in 2006, adds layers again. Makes for quite an unravelling experience.