Valley Performing Arts Center

The Turn of the Screw by Benjamin Britten

Sunday, January 19, 2014



Sunday, January 19, 2014


3:00 pm - 5:30 am


The Turn of the Screw by Benjamin Britten


Rosenthal Theater at Inner-City Arts
720 Kohler St.
Los Angeles, CA


Pacific Opera Project’s The Turn of the Screw

Who: Pacific Opera Project
What: Benjamin Britten’s The Turn of the Screw
When: January 11, 12, 17, 18 and 19 (Fridays and Saturdays at 8 PM, Sundays at 3 PM);
Gala event January 11 beginning at 6 PM including hors d’oeuvres, drinks and a pre-show program with performances

Where: Rosenthal Theater at Inner-City Arts, 720 Kohler Street, Los Angeles, CA 90021

Tickets: $35 general admission; $25 senior; $20 student; $100 opening night gala ($70 tax-deductible)

Contact: Josh Shaw, Artistic Director; 323.739.6122,
Stephen Karr, Music Director; 310.945.8482,

For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit, write to or call the Pacific Opera Project hotline at 323-739-6122.

Known for its irreverent spin on operatic and musical theater works, Pacific Opera Project takes on its most mature project to date. As part of the Britten 100/LA celebration sponsored by the Los Angeles Opera, POP will present five performances of Benjamin Britten’s masterwork based on the Henry James novella, The Turn of the Screw. Performances will take place at the Rosenthal Theater at Inner-City Arts at 720 Kohler Street in Los Angeles on January 11, 12, 17, 18 and 19. Sunday performances will begin at 3:00 pm, while all others start at 8:00 pm. Opening night will feature POP’s first-ever gala event, beginning with drinks and hors d’oeuvres at 6:00, followed by a lecture and performance by music director Stephen Karr and company members. The Turn of the Screw will be presented in its original, 13-instrument scoring with a cast of highly-accomplished singers selected from the finest emerging artists in the country’s leading opera companies.

The unsettling story of a young woman, sent to run a household in the English countryside with two small children, an elderly housekeeper and very little else provided the inspiration for this opera. The Governess becomes progressively less able to deal with the strange and inexplicable things that happen in the house, including apparitions of Miss Jessel, a former governess, and Peter Quint, a manservant — both deceased. This gripping tale of madness and mystery will be presented in an intimate, 140-seat theater where the drama and the music will surround and envelop the audience.

POP’s mission is to provide energetic, high-quality, accessible performances of a broad variety of operatic repertoire at various venues throughout Southern California. Co-founders Josh Shaw (stage direction and production design) and Stephen Karr (music director and conductor) team up for the company’s tenth production since its inception in the summer of 2011. Shaw has appeared as a singer throughout Southern California, and as a director has recently worked with New Fangled Opera, Opera Neo, Redlands Opera Theater and the Southern Illinois Music Festival. Karr has conducted all of POP’s productions, and has also worked with Des Moines Metro Opera, the Glimmerglass Festival, Opera New Jersey and Palm Beach Opera, in addition to his work for Opera UCLA.

With the Turn of the Screw, POP has assembled a stellar cast whose credits include such venues as Arizona Opera, Carnegie Hall, the Glimmerglass Festival, Indianapolis Opera, Nashville Opera, Los Angeles Opera and San Francisco Opera.

In her POP debut, soprano Rebecca Sjöwall will sing the role of the Governess. She has previously appeared with the Arizona Opera as Kate Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, Amore in Orfeo ed Euridice, and Edith in The Pirates of Penzance. A proponent of contemporary music, she returns this season to Nashville Opera as Mrs. P in Michael Nyman’s operatic setting of the classic Oliver Sacks book, The Man who Mistook his Wife for a Hat, after her critically-acclaimed performance as the Williamson girl in David Lang’s The Difficulty of Crossing a Field. Other premieres include a performance at Carnegie Hall in 2009 of Stephen Edwards’s A Carol Fantasy. She is a graduate of Luther College and UCLA.

Returning to POP after his stunning performance as Rodolfo in 2012’s La bohème, tenor Clay Hilley sings the role of Peter Quint. Clay is exploring Wagnerian repertoire, having sung the part of Siegmund in a concert performance of Die Walküre in North Carolina as well as singing Steuermann in Indianapolis Opera’s The Flying Dutchman and covering that role and the role of Erik in the Glimmerglass Festival’s 2013 production of the same work. He covers Mario Cavaradossi for Atlanta Opera’s Tosca this fall, and returns to Carnegie Hall as Schweiker von Gundelfingen in Richard Strauss’s Feuersnot with the American Symphony Orchestra. He debuted there as the tenor soloist in Mahler’s Symphony no. 8 last fall with the ASO. He has studied at the University of Georgia, Georgia State University, the Manhattan School of Music and the Boston University Opera Institute.

A native Angeleno, Soprano Marina Boudart Harris appears as the ghostly Miss Jessel, fresh from her two years as an Adler Fellow at the San Francisco Opera, where she appeared in world premiere productions of Tobias Picker’s Dolores Claiborne, Mark Adamo’s The Gospel of Mary Magdalene and Nolan Gasser’s The Secret Garden. Other assignments at San Francisco have included Berta in The Barber of Seville and the covers for Alice Ford in Falstaff and Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte.

As the frightened housekeeper Mrs. Grose, Jennifer Wallace makes her POP debut. Her credits include appearances with Opera Santa Barbara in the premiere of Stephen Schwartz’s Séance on a Wet Afternoon and as Eleanor Roosevelt in the 2010 premiere of The First Lady, produced by UCLA’s Semel Institute and needtheater. Her association with the LA Opera dates back to its inception in 1986, where she appeared in the first of her over 90 productions as a chorister in the company, in addition to 25 productions where she has sung as a soloist or covered a role (including covering the role of Mrs. Grose in their 1991 production of The Turn of the Screw).

Katy Tang, who recently appeared as Yum-Yum in POP’s 2013 production of The Mikado, returns to the Company as Flora. Her credits include performances with LA Opera outreach, Torrance Theatre Company, East West Players, Fullerton Civic Light Opera and Sacred Fools Theater Company, in such roles as Anne Egerman (A Little Night Music), Mabel (The Pirates of Penzance) and Christine Daae (The Phantom of the Opera). A two-time Junior Olympain pairs figure skater, Katy holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in music from UCLA, where she sang the roles of Monica (The Medium), Poppea (Agrippina), Alinda (Il Giasone) and Rose 1 (Blood on the Dining Room Floor).

Twelve-year-old Fionn James makes his POP debut in the role of Miles. Fionn has been acting on stage since he was three years old, having performed with the Knightsbridge Theater, Glendale Center Theater, Center Theater Group and A Noise Within. He has been a member of the renowned Los Angeles Children’s Chorus for four years, and has performed with the group at the Hollywood Bowl and Walt Disney Concert Hall. With the Los Angeles Opera, Fionn has appeared in productions of La bohème, Tosca and Carmen.

The cover cast includes Saira Frank (Governess), Matthew Miles (Peter Quint), Ariel Pisturino (Miss Jessel), Stephanie Sadownik (Mrs. Grose) and Ariel Downs (Flora).

Pacific Opera Project is a proud participant of LA Opera’s Britten 100/LA: A Celebration

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