The new production will be directed by General Director Thomas de Mallet Burgess with Holly Mathieson conducting, Tracy Grant Lord designing the sets and costumes and Matthew Marshall as Lighting Designer.
Performed in the intimacy of Wellington's Opera House and Auckland's ASB Waterfront Theatre in October 2019, the early casting call begins the process of finding the right children to play the enigmatic roles of Flora and Miles in both Wellington and Auckland.
"We're looking for four very talented children to play or understudy Flora and Miles," says de Mallet Burgess. "The roles require very specific trained voices, with steady tone, clear pitch and the ability to project without amplification."
Flora: Female, Soprano
Age 14+ to play 11-12 years old. A young, seemingly innocent and playful girl, with macabre curiosities. Pure, classical voice of soloist quality with substantial volume.
Miles: Male, Boy Soprano
Age 10+ to play 12-14 years old. After being expelled from school, an innocent looking young boy reveals that he has a troubled past. Voice must be unbroken and of soloist quality with substantial volume.
The first step in the audition process is to submit an audition video by 18 January. Selected applicants will be invited to participate in a finalists workshop in mid-February, with the final casting to be announced in late February. Details including an application form are available at nzopera.com.
"The Turn of the Screw is a ghost story with some dark themes, so we'll be working closely with parents to ensure the children selected are fully aware of what the opera is about and able to cope with the subject matter," de Mallet Burgess said.
"This is a wonderful wonderful opportunity for young singers to play central roles in a professional opera, alongside a first rate national and international New Zealand cast."
Tickets to The Turn of the Screw are available as part of subscription packages now at nzopera.com and go sale via Ticketmaster on Monday 26 November. More information on the auditions is available at nzopera.com.
A chilling ghost story, saturated with menace. Benjamin Britten’s haunting operatic version of Henry James’s famous novella The Turn of the Screw.
A young governess arrives at a remote country house to care for two children with only written instructions from their guardian, who advises not to disturb him. Before long a tapestry is woven of obsession, sexual awakening and the destruction of childhood. A narrative just ambivalent enough for us to project upon it our own fears.
The Opera House, Wellington - 3-5 October
ASB Waterfront Theatre, Auckland - 18-23 October
Governess Anna Leese
Prologue/Peter Quint Jared Holt
Miss Jessel Madeleine Pierard
Mrs Grose Patricia Wright
Conductor Holly Mathieson
Director Thomas de Mallet Burgess
Set and Costume Designer Tracy Grant Lord
Lighting Designer Matthew Marshall
Orchestra Wellington, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra
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.
A New Zealand Opera production