A young governess takes on responsibility for two orphans on an English country estate. But the idyll turns into a confusing world of horror. Two ghosts, deceased servants, seem to want to take possession of the children entrusted to them. But do they really exist? In whose world do they exist? The story not only leaves the main character in doubt, it keeps its secrets unsolved beyond the end of the opera. The governess's fight for the children entrusted to her turns into a journey into the subconscious, a psycho-thriller that continues in the mind of the audience.
The turn of the screwis one of the most impressive operas of the second half of the 20th century. The music alternates between light and shadow, reality and hallucination, human and spirit world. The screw motif turns deeper and deeper into the score and increases the tension. Spatially, the episodes crowd together in a claustrophobic narrowness, in the musically corresponding soundscape of an orchestra that is as expressive as it is minimalist. On the other hand, all figures drift apart at the greatest possible emotional distance. An opera between appearance and reality, between maintained distance and longed for closeness, as if made for the circumstances of our time.