The Turn of the Screw

June 2007
33 colour, 3 black and white illustrations
96 pages
27x24.5 cm
ISBN: 9780955547409
Format: Hardback
Sounding Art Press

The Turn of the Screw

Visual Responses to Britten's Opera

These 33 paintings by acclaimed artist Jane Mackay are a visual reaction to Britten's opera, accompanied by an introduction and commentary by musicologist Andrew Plant.
Of their adaptation of Henry James' allusive short story, librettist Myfanwy Piper wrote that she and Britten intended to 'recreate it for a different medium.' This concept is developed further in Jane Mackay's 33 paintings: a visual reaction to the music rather than illustrations to particular scenes, occupying a unique position between abstract and figurative art. Musicologist Andrew Plant, formerly of the Britten-Pears Library, provides an introduction and commentary and there is a preface by the distinguished countertenor James Bowman.

Bringing together the entire series exhibited during the 2004 Aldeburgh Festival, these paintings are occasionally John Piper-esque in their figurative elements and hints of an unseen world. Now available from Boydell & Brewer, this imaginative interpretation of Britten's The Turn of the Screw will be an essential addition to the library of all opera lovers. Limited to 300 signed and numbered copies.

JANE MACKAY has broadcast widely on radio and television and has held numerous solo exhibitions, including shows at the Florence Biennale and London's Wigmore Hall. She is also a choral singer and oboist.
ANDREW PLANT has contributed to a number of scholarly publications and was formerly Curator of Exhibitions at the Britten-Pears Library. He now teaches in Windsor and appears regularly as a recital accompanist.


Jane Mackay's Turn of the Screw paintings, vivid as Piper. INDEPENDENT [Roderic Dunnett]