Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw is set in the Victorianised seventeenth century country House of Bly. So as a setting for this peerless ghost story, it’s entirely fitting that the gothic Villa La Scagliola, itself built for a Victorian Home Counties widow, should be used in the design of the latest stage version of Britten’s opera of the story at the oldest opera festival in the United States – Central City Opera, Colorado. As James was also a frequent visitor to the Italian Lakes, one hopes he would have appreciated the resonance.

Sinéad Mulhern (Governess). Photo by Mark Kiryluk.