New Zealand Opera presents

The Turn of the Screw

By Benjamin Britten. Libretto by Myfanwy Piper, after a story by Henry James. Published by Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Ltd.

18 OCT - 23 OCT 2019 — Opera



New Zealand Opera


2 hours and 15 minutes including a 20 minute intermission.


Adult themes. Recommended for 15 years and over.

A ghost story. Revealed. Turn by turn. Benjamin Britten’s haunting operatic version of Henry James’s famous novella The Turn of the Screw is a chilling ghost story, saturated with menace.

The story follows a young governess, performed by internationally acclaimed Kiwi soprano Anna Leese, as she arrives at a remote country house to care for two children, with only written instructions from an absent guardian who advises that he is not to be contacted. Things only get stranger. What is real and what are the imagining of a troubled mind? The novel doesn’t make it clear, and Britten and librettist Piper leave it equally ambiguous in the opera.

This is a narrative just ambivalent enough for us to project upon it our own fears.

Join us for pre-show talks, 1 hour before every performance in the auditorium on the 18th, 20th, and 23rd October.


Anna Leese


Jared Holt

Prologue/Peter Quint

Madeleine Pierard

Miss Jessel

Patricia Wright

Mrs Grose

Lukas Maher/Alexandros Swallow

Miles Lukas

Olivia Forbes/Alexa Harwood



Holly Mathieson


Thomas de Mallet Burgess


Tracy Grant Lord

Set and Costume Designer

Matthew Marshall

Matthew Marshall