Henry James' 1898 novella The Turn of the Screw is one of the most deliciously creepy works in literature. The story of an ill-fated governess who believes her two young charges are possessed by the evil ghosts of their former governess and groundskeeper, it's a complex psychological chiller with disturbing sexual overtones — just up Benjamin Britten's alley. A composer known for his creativity and daring, Britten with librettist Myfanwy Piper wrote an opera based on the James story that premiered in 1954 and was praised for its dramatic appeal and haunting 12-tone score. This week, L.A. Opera presents The Turn of the Screw with a magnificent cast, featuring soprano Patricia Racette as the Governess, tenor William Burden as Quint, soprano Tamara Wilson as Miss Jessel, mezzo-soprano Ann Murray as Mrs. Grose, soprano Ashley Emerson as Flora and the amazing 12-year-old treble Michael Kepler Meo as the malevolently precocious Miles. Also, with the Getty Museum, L.A. Opera explores the opera and book in , a day of lectures, guided gallery discussions and music featuring L.A. Opera conductor James Conlon, music director Richard Seaver and pianist Nino Sanikidze; Domingo/Thornton Young Artists soprano Janai Brugger-Orman and mezzo-soprano Tracy Cox; and museum staff and guest scholars. The Turn of the Screw: Music Center, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., dwntwn.; opens Sat., March 12, 7:30 p.m.; also March 17, 25, 30, 7:30p.m.; mats Sun., March 20 & 27, 2 p.m.; $20-$270. (213) 972-8001, laopera.com. Turns of the Screw: Getty Center, Lecture Hall, 1200 Getty Center Drive; Sat., March 12, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; $80; $65 students (includes box lunch). (310) 440-7300, getty.edu. –Mary Beth Crain
Sat., March 12, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., 2011
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