Bernstein Double Bill

West Side Story Symphonic Dances / Trouble in Tahiti

3 Oct–21 Nov 2020

This event has been postponed


Please note this event has been postponed to a future season. We will contact all ticket bookers as soon as possible to arrange refunds. Thank you for your patience and support at this difficult time. Find out more


Trouble in Tahiti

The American Dream turned suffocatingly sour.

Leonard Bernstein’s one-act opera is an 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.

Bernstein’s score is heavily influenced by the syncopated rhythms of jazz and by the distinctive American vernacular of musicals and the movies. A highlight of Opera North’s Little Greats season in 2017, Matthew Eberhardt’s production of Trouble in Tahiti is deeply touching, whilst giving full value to the Hollywood pizzazz of Dinah’s showpiece number ‘Island Magic’.

“…razor-sharp… a joy from the off.”
★★★★★ — The Arts Desk (2017)

“…a fleet and witty staging… I loved every minute.”
★★★★ — The Telegraph (2017)


West Side Story Symphonic Dances

A major collaboration with Phoenix Dance Theatre.

Bernstein’s West Side Story broke new ground in many ways. It responded to the newly contemporary issue of gang violence in American cities, and the story-telling was driven by dance.

The composer himself arranged the Symphonic Dances as a work to stand on its own, free of the story of the show. Taking this as her cue, choreographer Aletta Collins creates a dance work which interprets Bernstein’s thrilling and poignant music outside of the narrative of West Side Story. This entirely new piece will explore the experience of young people through themes of group identity and family, conflict and violence, but also the dream of a better life, somewhere.

£15 to £77.50*
  • Leeds Grand Theatre
  • Theatre Royal, Newcastle
  • The Lowry, Salford Quays
  • Theatre Royal, Nottingham

Running time
Approximately 2 hours

Trouble in Tahiti is sung in English

Save with…
Season Ticket Packages
Under 30s membership
Try it ON membership

*Prices vary by venue. Booking fees may apply.


Become a Friend

Support us at this challenging time by becoming a Friend of Opera North

Watch online

Watch Opera North’s acclaimed staging of Wagner’s Ring Cycle, Britten’s The Turn of the Screw and more, online, in full, for free.

Watch online » 


In a little white house in 1950s suburban America, Sam and Dinah are having breakfast. Aware of the growing separation between them, they agree to discuss their relationship problems that evening.

Sam arrives at the office, late from their bickering. Meanwhile, Dinah is at her therapist’s office recalling a dream.

It’s lunchtime, Sam and Dinah accidentally run into each other. Rather than eating together, they both make up imaginary commitments with others and go on with their days separately. Both parents miss their son’s play in favour of their own pursuits – Sam plays a handball tournament with a colleague, Dinah goes to the movies.

After dinner, Sam decides the time has come for their talk. Yet neither of them know where to begin. Sam suggests they go see a new movie about Tahiti, Dinah agrees even though she saw the very same film that afternoon. The couple wonders whether it’ll ever be possible to rekindle their love, for now, they opt for the magic of the silver screen.

Cast - Trouble in Tahiti

Quirijn Lang


Sandra Piques Eddy


Creative team - Trouble in Tahiti

Jonathon Heyward


Matthew Eberhardt


Charles Edwards

Set Designer

Hannah Clark

Costume Designer

Tim Claydon

Movement Director

Creative team - Symphonic Dances

Jonathon Heyward


Aletta Collins


Bernstein Double Bill
Bernstein Double Bill

Search our site