A guide to Benjamin Britten’s intense opera The Turn of the Screw. Piper began sending draft copies of the libretto in early and by this time Britten was. Benjamin Britten- The Turn of a Screw (libretto) – Download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read online. Benjamin Britten- The Turn of a Screw (libretto). Some of the oldest passages in the libretto of Benjamin Britten’s opera The Turn of the Screw are the Latin bits – the most cryptic parts of what is.

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The voice of Quint calls out to Miles, terrifying him. Miles Treble A fairly creepy boy of Usually sung by the same singer as Peter Quint.

This boy becomes, once you decrypt the Latin, a main part of Britten’s protracted fantasy of the compliant boyish other, the male respondent envisaged again and again in his versions of lyrics by Auden, Rimbaud and the other gay poets he loved to set and to have his lover Peter Pears sing. Described as one of the most dramatically appealing English operas, the opera in two acts has a prologue and sixteen scenes, each preceded by a variation on the twelve-note ‘Screw’ theme.

Filthy Britten | Education | The Guardian

They argue about who harmed whom first when they were alive, and accuse one another of not acting quickly enough to possess the children.


I shall feel like a princess here. O ye dragons and snakes, worms and feathered fowl: He liked them pretty I can tell you, miss, and he had his will, morning and night. O ye moon and stars, windows and lakes: Now all will be well, we were far too long alone! I don’t like her! Piper began sending draft copies of the libretto in early and by this time Britten was reduced to writing letters to her with his left hand.

The word malo can be either a form of the adjective for “bad”, or the first-person singular of the verb malle”to prefer,” which has an irregular conjugation and is a common stumbling block for students. Together they try, successfully, to convince the children to find them.

Turn of the screw Libretto

They ride out as the Governess comes tutn. Myfanwy Piper had years earlier suggested James’s The Turn of the Screw as a potential subject for a television opera and encouraged by Peter Pears, Britten asked her to put together an outline for how it might be adapted into an opera. Only say the name and he will go for ever, for ever. Shall we like her? Ask, for I answer all.

Turn Of The Screw, op. 54 – libretto

By the side of lake at Bly, the Governess sits reading whilst Flora sings to her doll. I’m so happy to see you Prologue Tenor A narrator of sorts who opens the evening.

Do you want to go and play? Even those many music historians eager to demystify Britten’s life in his works, and uncover the homosexual narrative at their heart, have lacked curiosity brittfn what is actually being sung at these textually darkened moments.


Finding the girl at the lake, the Governess sees the spectre of Miss Jessel nearby—but Mrs. All this gives real point to the libretto’s strange benedicite, also sung by Miles: They were not in my charge.

Very soon I shall know Very soon I shall know. To whom does Miles actually refer, Peter Quint or the Governess?

A narrator of sorts who opens the evening. The candle goes out. Quint tells Miles to steal the letter. The Governess runs out and looks through the window as Quint had done. Search all Search scenes Search operas Search roles Search composers.

What is startling is that these passages have never been properly decrypted in the whole course of the Britten Screw’s history.

You horrible, terrible woman! My poor head isn’t bright enough – the things they think up! Miles is showing off at the piano. I don’t know what she means. But she was carried away: In other projects Wikimedia Commons. The tower is now visible.