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With a ‘Turn of the Screw’

To Benjamin Britten fans, and of course to fans of Henry James, who is still as unknown to German-speakers as Britten was 30 years ago, the Theater an der Wien is tossing a ghostly musical nosegay Sept. 14. Britten’s chamber opera of James’ 1898 psycho-thriller The Turn of the Screw, composed in 1954, is their […]

Flawed Beauty, Fatal Innocence

Flawed Beauty, Fatal Innocence

“The good has never been perfect… always some flaw… some stammer in the divine speech.” Thus begins Billy Budd, Benjamin Britten’s operatic masterpiece and perhaps one of the most powerful dramas of 20th-century musical stage. It is a story of human crisis, the conflict between law and morality, an inquiry into darker questions of right […]

Rossini, Mozart and Britten

One of the great attractions of opera is its diversity. Operas can be very long, seriously heavy – even dunkel – and challenging in various ways, but at the other end of the spectrum they can be bright, breezy, cheerful and comical entertainment, and no less significant for being so. The last performance this season […]

Handel & Britten Restaged

The Theater an der Wien has opened its 2009/10 season with something old and something new – Handel’s oratorio Susanna, composed in 1748, and Benjamin Britten’s opera Death in Venice, composed just a generation ago, in 1973. Although hardly a traditional bride, the youngest opera house in Vienna, has no need for lucky tokens – […]

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