(L to R) Harry Risoleo (Miles), Rachel Calloway (Mrs. Grose), Charlotte Dobbs (the Governess), and Kirby Anne Hall (Flora) in The Turn of the Screw, Châteauville Foundation (photo by Nicholas Vaughan)
Maazel has been hosting concerts in his home for over a decade, but he first came onto the Ionarts radar when a chamber opera production sponsored by the Châteauville Foundation suddenly appeared on the schedule of the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater back in 2005. Not quite sure what to expect, both Jens and yours truly showed up and were very impressed by that bone-chilling performance of The Turn of the Screw. Maazel decided not to revive that sinister staging, by director Barbara Eckle and choreographer Abigail Levine, instead entrusting a new staging to William Kerley, recently appointed as the festival's Resident Stage Director. It took advantage of the unusual shapes and details of the smaller Festival House stage, with Miss Jessel and Peter Quint serenading the children from the rail of the balcony. The single set backdrop (sets and costumes by Nicholas Vaughan) established the predominant tone of black color, with a large window and columns that moved back and forth, adding to the possessed, claustrophobic feel of this incarnation of Bly Manor. A black arch framed the proscenium, echoed by a narrow walkway that extended the stage space around the pit, which also served as Bly Park's lake.
Charlotte Dobbs (the Governess) in The Turn of the Screw, Châteauville Foundation (photo by Nicholas Vaughan)
Anne Midgette, Coming Up Big in a Tiny Space (Washington Post, July 6)
Tim Smith, Castleton Festival on Lorin Maazel's Virginia estate opens with compelling 'Turn of the Screw' (Clef Notes, July 6)
Philip Kennicott, The Debut of the Castelton Festival (Philip Kennicott, July 6)
This opera will be repeated this evening (July 4, 5 pm) and tomorrow afternoon (July 5, 2 pm). Today's performance is the crowning moment of an Independence Day Open House at the Castleton Festival, with chamber music performances, food and activities, and post-opera fireworks and dancing.