Bernstein: Trouble in Tahiti: Opera North video

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jserraglio
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Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 7:06 am
Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Bernstein: Trouble in Tahiti: Opera North video

Post by jserraglio » Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:41 am

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2018/ ... pera-north

Opera North won terrific reviews for its production of Leonard Bernstein’s bittersweet one-act satire of suburban angst. To celebrate the great composer’s centenary you can watch the entire opera here, for free.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_j3T9zrvGk

In 1950s suburbia, Sam and Dinah appear to have the perfect life in their little white house. But their growing detachment exposes a mutual feeling that they are trapped in a life that has turned into a lie. Sam escapes to the hyper-masculine, win-or-lose world of work and the gym, while Dinah loses herself in the movies, where the hit picture of the day is the ominously-titled Trouble in Tahiti.
A jazz trio provides an ironic gloss on the story, pointing up the stark contrast between the unreal fantasy of domestic bliss peddled by the ad-men and the painful truth of Sam and Dinah’s lives.
Bernstein’s score for his deeply touching first opera is heavily influenced by the syncopated rhythms of jazz and by the distinctive American vernacular of Hollywood and Broadway.


Bernstein’s first opera is a seven-scene satire on a troubled marriage and the American dream. Premiered in 1952, Bernstein listed his demands on the front of the score – simplicity of execution, clarity of diction, swift moving action and no pauses for scene changes. Opera North’s stylish production delivered exactly that.

“Quirijn de Lang and Wallis Giunta, spirited and vocally crisp, led the five-strong cast. A swing-style vocal trio provide a Greek chorus born of the advertising age. This trio, Bernstein instructs, “must be as conventionally handsome as possible, and must never stop smiling”. Fflur Wyn, Joseph Shovelton and Nicholas Butterfield crooned beautifully. Charles Edwards’s fluid designs, switching from radio studio to a domestic paradise of yellow Formica and tubular steel, allowed the action to glide easily through its seven scenes. Ringborg kept the wind-dominated ensemble taut and infectiously jazzy,” wrote Fiona Maddocks, reviewing Trouble in Tahiti on its first appearance at Opera North last October.

In this, Bernstein’s centenary year, you can watch the entire opera exclusively on the Guardian until 10 August. (With thanks to commissioning body The Space.)

barney
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Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2008 11:12 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Bernstein: Trouble in Tahiti: Opera North video

Post by barney » Sun Aug 12, 2018 12:19 am

I saw this a few years ago, with an ambitious small Melbourne company that did a pretty good job - but not as good a job as Opera North. Many thanks for posting this.

jserraglio
Posts: 4519
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 7:06 am
Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Re: Bernstein: Trouble in Tahiti: Opera North video

Post by jserraglio » Sun Aug 12, 2018 7:30 am

barney wrote:
Sun Aug 12, 2018 12:19 am
I saw this a few years ago, with an ambitious small Melbourne company that did a pretty good job - but not as good a job as Opera North. Many thanks for posting this.
Another one from the UK 2010 with reduced orchestration by Garth Edwin Sunderland. I'm starting to really appreciate this work. On to A Quiet Place rearranged as a chamber opera by Sunderland.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1HoB7XbEOY


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