A Domestic Comedy

Leonard Bernstein, Trouble in Tahiti

Conductor: Jamie Andrews
Director: Michael Burden

Ante-chapel, New College
2 & 3 March 2023
£15/£7 concessions from https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/


Sam – Jake Sternberg
Dinah – Melissa Talbot
Trio – Ellie Stamp, Edward Beswick, Ben Gilchrist

Leonard Bernstein’s short opera, Trouble in Tahiti, comes between two bigger works, his 1944 On the Town and Candide of 1956. Described as ‘a candid portrait of the troubled marriage of a young suburban couple’, it tells the story of Sam and Dinah, who are trapped in a suburban, middle-class, consumerist world, desiring love and intimacy, but achieving only marital discord.

The title is from an escapist movie, ‘Trouble in Tahiti’, which Dinah goes to see during the afternoon; in the evening, when they fail to address their marital difficulties, the only solution is to go to cinema – where they see ‘Trouble in Tahiti’. The couple are backed by a static trio, fulfilling the role of a Greek chorus and the score, which draws on songs, jazz rhythms and other popular idioms, is dedicated to Marc Blitzstein.