Opera North - Bernstein Double Bill

Thu 18 November 19:00

Opera North - Bernstein Double Bill at Theatre Royal and Royal Concert Hall 868

Under 14s must be accompanied by an adult aged 18+
Sung in English with English titles

A dance & opera double bill

Trouble in Tahiti

Music Leonard Bernstein
Libretto Leonard Bernstein
First performance Waltham, Massachusetts, 1952

The American Dream turns suffocatingly sour in Leonard 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.

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 of short operas 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’.

West Side Story Symphonic Dances

Music Leonard Bernstein
First performance New York, 1961
A collaboration with Phoenix Dance Theatre

At a stroke, Bernstein’s West Side Story redefined musical theatre when it opened on Broadway in 1957. It broke new ground in several ways, not least in responding to the newly contemporary issue of gang violence in American cities, and in the way that the story-telling was driven by dance.

Bernstein himself arranged the Symphonic Dances from West Side Story as a work to stand on its own terms, free of the story of the show from which the music is derived. Taking this as his cue, Phoenix Dance Theatre’s new Artistic Director Dane Hurst choreographs 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.

This is the second major collaboration between Opera North and Leeds-based, internationally-renowned, Phoenix Dance Theatre, following our hugely successful work together on Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring in 2019.

Opera North - Bernstein Double Bill

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