The Getty Center
Date: Saturday, March 12, 2011
Time: 9:30 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
Location: Getty Center, Museum Lecture Hall and galleries
Past Event

A Scene from The Turn of the Screw / Photo: Mike Hoban
9:30–10:00 a.m. Coffee and registration

10:00–10:15 a.m. Welcome, Clare Kunny, manager, Department of Education, the J. Paul Getty Museum; and Stacy C. Brightman, director, Education and Community Programs, LA Opera

Morning Session:

10:15–11:00 a.m. "On Musical Knowledge and Knowledge through Music: Desire, Guilt, and Identity in Britten's The Turn of the Screw," Mitchell Morris, associate professor, Department of Musicology, UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music

A Scene from The Turn of the Screw / Photo: Mike Hoban
In his adaptation of Henry James's celebrated novella, Benjamin Britten proved himself to be keenly interested in what may be the book's central problems: what does one know, and how does one know it; what does one want, and how does one know it. Questions of knowledge and evidence, reality and fantasy, and desire and repulsion collide within the story in an assortment of ambiguous, ambivalent ways—this is one of the keys to the opera. This talk explores ways that Britten and his librettist Myfanwy Piper were able to translate James's thematic concerns into the medium of opera.

11:00–11:45 a.m. A Conversation with James Conlon, Richard Seaver Music Director of LA Opera

11:45 a.m.–noon Break

Noon–12:30 p.m. "Ensor's Inward Turn," Scott Allan, assistant curator, Department of Paintings, the J. Paul Getty Museum

This talk lays out some of the personal circumstances and cultural conditions prompting Belgian painter James Ensor's radical turn from a naturalist art based on external observation to an intensely subjective, hallucinatory art of apparitions, demons, skeletons, masks, and grotesqueries—a turn that would lead to such visionary masterpieces as Christ's Entry into Brussels in 1889 from 1888. Suggestive and intriguing parallels emerge between Ensor and the obsessed narrator of James's Turn of the Screw. From insecure positions of social isolation, both end up wholly involved in their own private, self-important psychodramas, haunted by moral degeneration and death.

12:30–1:30 p.m. Box lunch on Garden Terrrace

Afternoon Session:

1:30–2:30 p.m. Mystical Perceptions in the Visual Arts, gallery tours led by Nancy Real, Anna Sapenuk, William Zaluski, educators, the J. Paul Getty Museum

2:30–4:00 p.m. Introduction by Jennifer Babcock, associate director, Education and Community Programs, LA Opera:
  • Dr. Nino Sanikidze, piano
  • Ms. Janai Brugger-Orman, soprano
  • Ms. Tracy Cox, mezzo-soprano

"Haunting and Haunted: Female Characters in The Turn of the Screw," presented by LA Opera's Domingo-Thornton Young Artists

How to Get Here
The Getty Center is located at 1200 Getty Center Drive in Los Angeles, California, approximately 12 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. See Hours, Directions, Parking for maps and driving directions.