Sat 14 November

Opera North's Trouble in Tahiti & West Side Story Symphonic Dances

Bernstein Double Bill

Bernstein’s thrilling music accompanies a brand new dance piece in collaboration with Phoenix Dance Theatre, together with his darkly funny satire in which the 1950s American dream turns sour.

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Leonard Bernstein

The American Dream turned suffocatingly sour.

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’.

Leonard Bernstein

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.


“…razor-sharp… a joy from the off.”

The Arts Desk

“…a fleet and witty staging… I loved every minute.”

The Telegraph