Trouble in Tahiti | Bernstein
The American Dream turns suffocatingly sour in Bernstein’s unsparing examination of a marriage falling apart in 1950s suburbia.
Sam and Dinah appear to have the perfect life in their ‘little white house’. But their growing failure to connect 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 handball tournaments at 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 this, his deeply touching first opera, is heavily influenced by the syncopated rhythms of jazz and by the distinctive American vernacular of Hollywood and Broadway.
Running time Approximately 45 minutes
Language Sung in English
Trial by Jury | Gilbert & Sullivan
An instant hit, Gilbert & Sullivan’s first operetta launched the partnership that was to take British musical theatre by storm.
Trial by Jury centres on a legal case brought by the glamorous Angelina against her intended husband Edwin, who jilts her when he comes to the ghastly realization before their wedding that she bores him intensely.
Every ounce of comic potential is mined from a ludicrous plot which is taken perfectly seriously by everyone caught up in it. With its brilliantly witty comedy numbers and a superb mock-operatic ensemble, Trial by Jury pokes fun at the British establishment, in the shape of the legal system, and gently mocks English manners and mores.
It is a distillation of Gilbert & Sullivan’s comic genius, bearing all the hallmarks of the great run of Savoy Operas that was to follow.
Running time Approximately 45minutes
Language Sung in English
Part of The Little Greats: Short operas. Huge emotions.
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Venue: Theatre Royal
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