Leonard Bernstein's blockbuster fuses opera and musical theatre with jazz and Latin rhythms and the piece, performed by Opera North, follows a warring suburban couple, Sam and Dinah, over the course of one day.
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.
The Space has recently captured this production, which will available with audio description and captions in order to make the work accessible to the widest possible audience.