A film of Opera North's critically-acclaimed Trouble in Tahiti is now available to view on demand exclusively via The Guardian.
Commissioned by The Space, who support greater digital access to the arts, and with direction by Ross MacGibbon, Trouble in Tahiti was filmed live at Leeds Grand Theatre during last year's award-winning Little Greats season. Directed for the stage by Matthew Eberhardt and conducted by Tobias Ringborg, the show lasts only 45 minutes. Yet, like Leonard Bernstein's better known West Side Story, this earlier work combines the composer's genius for melody and heartfelt emotion with the distinctively American sound of Hollywood and Broadway.
A darkly witty satire on the American Dream, Trouble in Tahiti is set in 1950s suburbia, where Sam and Dinah appear to have the perfect life in their little white house. As the action unfolds however, their growing detachment soon makes it clear that they are trapped in a lie. Sam escapes to the macho 'winner takes all' world of work and the gym, while Dinah loses herself at the movies, where the hit picture of the day is the ominously-titled Trouble in Tahiti.
The production stars Canadian mezzo-soprano Wallis Giunta, winner of the Young Singer Award at the 2018 International Opera Awards, and Dutch baritone Quirijn de Lang, who recently completed a UK and international tour with Opera North as leading man Fred Graham/ Petruchio in Kiss Me, Kate.
The film is being featured on The Guardian as part of global celebrations marking the centenary of Leonard Bernstein's birth. It has also been made available on the Access page in accessible formats for D/deaf and hard of hearing, and blind or partially-sighted audience members, with British Sign Language interpretation, audio description, and captioning.
Photo credit: Alastair Muir