The Flip of the Screw is an odd opera. Based mostly on the 1898 horror novella by Henry James, this opera with music composition by Benjamin Britten, and a libretto by Myfanwy Piper, tells the sordid story of a governess who arrives at Bly Manor to care for 2 youngsters and discovers that not the whole lot is because it appears. Opera Baltimore (previously generally known as the Baltimore Live performance Opera) selected this intriguing piece to inaugurate its new title. Directed by Catrin Davies and performed by Michael Sakir, this semi-staged live performance opera presentation of The Flip of the Screw was an exquisite introduction to the vary of labor that Opera Baltimore presents.
Britten’s composition is spooky and discordant. It feels virtually panicked, particularly with the sturdy dissonance of the piano and vocals. Soprano Colleen Daly sings the a part of the unfortunate Governess. She offers a well-rounded efficiency. Her capability to sing into the emotional undertones of this disturbing opera makes her excellent for the function. She is an particularly good foil to maid Mrs. Grose, performed by mezzo-soprano Annie Chester, whose barely deeper tones present wealthy depth to their materials. Each girls even have appearing talent, which is important to speak the story, particularly in a live performance staging.
Tenor Norman Shankle is the ominous and antagonistic Peter Quint. Shankle’s heat and readability are enticing, regardless that his character is especially odious. Peter Quint is many of the purpose for the content material warnings that you could be see related to The Flip of the Screw. His relationship with Mrs. Jessel, a task carried out right here by commanding and clear-as-a-bell soprano Amanda Sheriff, is as disturbing as it’s intriguing. All through the opera, we study extra about this diabolical pair. The brilliance of the story lies in its ambiguity. Are Peter Quint and Mrs. Jessel dwelling folks? Malevolent spirits? One thing else?
The primary motion of the opera revolves across the conduct of the kids and the Governess’ subsequent bewilderment on the seemingly demonic occurrences round them. Brynn Blair performs the brother of the pair of siblings, Miles. That is her Opera Baltimore debut and he or she does an admirable job of dwelling as much as the caliber of artists that this firm attracts. Soprano Robin Steitz performs Miles’ sister Flora. She is believably youthful, even along with her highly effective supply. Each assist this manufacturing stand out.
Opera Baltimore bought out each showings of The Flip of the Screw, and it’s no shock as to why. For a smaller firm, they entice top-tier skills. It’s fantastic to see that they’re branching out to full-scale productions. Subsequent on the schedule is a totally staged manufacturing of Verdi’s La Traviata, to be carried out at Stephens Corridor at Towson College this coming March. Their subsequent occasion, nevertheless, is their 2022 Gala. Dinner, public sale, and performances by opera star Kevin Quick (amongst others) shall be featured this 12 months. It is going to be held on the beautiful Engineers Membership in Baltimore on December 8.
Opera Baltimore proves that storms will be weathered. After the pandemic, this phenomenal firm emerged larger and higher and with the promise of a shiny future. The welcoming ambiance of their productions will enchantment to anybody who’s fascinated with experiencing probably the greatest opera corporations within the mid-Atlantic. The Flip of the Screw, with its moody and mysterious storyline, typifies the vary and creativity of Opera Baltimore. I can’t wait to see extra!
Working Time: Two hours quarter-hour.
The Flip of the Screw performed on November 18 and 20, 2022, introduced by Opera Baltimore performing on the Engineers Membership, 11 West Mount Vernon Place, Baltimore, MD. Tickets have been $29–$107. The Pay Opera Ahead program offers free tickets to those that can’t afford one. To request a ticket by means of this program, merely e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with “Pay Opera Ahead ticket request” within the topic line, and you’ll obtain a code to entry a free ticket, no questions requested.
The playbill for The Flip of the Screw is on-line right here.
COVID Security: Masks are inspired, however not required. Opera Baltimore’s full Well being and Security coverage is right here.