The dark psychological terrain of Henry James found an ideal musical exponent in the British composer Benjamin Britten, who turned two of James’ short stories – “The Turn of the Screw” and “Owen Wingrave” – into operas in the 1950s and 1970s.
The better-known of the two is “The Turn of the Screw,” which debuted in 1954. It’s a ghost story that tells of the haunting of two children by two separate phantoms (this is one “turn of the screw” ― an upping of the undead stakes from a solitary ghost and lone hauntee ― that gives James’ 1898 story its title; its other meaning refers to the extra effort required for virtue to take on evil in the final scene).
Subscribers get total access to this story, and all our in-depth news, digital editions and exclusive content. Subscribe today, or try a 24-hour or 7-day digital pass.
Registered Post Subscriber — Sign me in.Sign In
Post Print Subscriber — I need to register my account for digital access.Access Digital
All Day Access — 24-hour digital pass99¢ for 24 hours
All Week Access — 7-day digital pass$3.99 for 7 days
All Access, All the Time — Print & DigitalView Offers