Opera Scotland

Turn of the Screw 1986Scottish Opera

Read more about the opera Turn of the Screw

Scottish Opera's 1985/86 season consisted of ten operas. The company's new productions ranged through Mozart (The Marriage of Figaro), Weber (Oberon), Verdi (Il trovatore), Offenbach (La Vie parisienne) and Weill (The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny). The previous season's Orlando had further performances outside Glasgow, while the revivals were The Magic Flute, Werther, Tosca and The Turn of the Screw. The small-scall Opera-Go-Round tour in the autumn took the form of a new (and very different) staging of Tosca.

By 1986 it was some years since Anthony Besch's much-loved and well-travelled production had been on show. So much so, that of the original company, apart from Besch himself, only John Robertson was available to take part in his original role. However, Ludmilla Andrew had played Miss Jessel in countless performances from 1970 on, and here she was as Mrs Grose. Phyllis Cannan, well-established at ENO and elsewhere, returned to Scottish Opera for the first time since her debut as Siegrune in the 1971 Ring.

In its only outings at the Glasgow Theatre Royal the production still looked and sounded remarkably well, with John Stoddart's effective designs emphasising the ambiguity of the action at every point. However, these turned out to be its final performances before the staging was retired. They were also the only ones not to be led by Roderick Brydon. While Ronald Zollman was also an expert conductor, it was perhaps inevitable that he didn't quite generate the tension honed by his predecessor over the years of regular performance.

The first night was dedicated to the memory of Sir Peter Pears, who had died on 3 April. He had created the roles of Prologue and Quint in 1954 and had sung the Prologue in two performances of this production at the 1979 Edinburgh Festival.

Performance DatesTurn of the Screw 1986

Map List

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

16 Apr, 19.15 19 Apr, 14.15 10 Jun, 19.15 14 Jun, 19.15 19 Jun, 19.15

Kings Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

22 May, 19.15

Empire Theatre, Liverpool | Liverpool

29 May, 19.15

Theatre Royal, Newcastle | Newcastle-upon-Tyne

6 Jun, 19.15

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