Opera North’s critically acclaimed production of Trouble in Tahiti is now available to view on demand via The Guardian, as part of global celebrations marking the 100th anniversary of the legendary American composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein’s birth.

Commissioned by The Space, Trouble in Tahiti was filmed live at Leeds Grand Theatre in October 2017 and directed by Ross MacGibbon. The production, which is directed for the stage by Matthew Eberhardt and conducted by Tobias Ringborg, formed part of Opera North’s award – winning series of short operas, The Little Greats.

Lasting only 45 minutes, it is a lesser-known Bernstein work in comparison to West Side Story or On The Town, but like his most famous musicals, Trouble in Tahiti combines the composer’s genius for melodic invention and heartfelt emotion with the distinctively American sound of Hollywood and Broadway.

A 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. 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.

It stars Canadian mezzo-soprano Wallis Giunta, winner of the Young Singer Award at the International Opera Awards 2018, and Dutch baritone Quirijn de Lang, who has recently been seen in the lead role of Fred Graham/Petruchio in Opera North’s UK and international tour of Kiss Me, Kate.

The film of Trouble in Tahiti has also been made available in accessible formats for D/deaf and hard of hearing, and blind or partially-sighted audience members, with the following:

British Sign Language interpretation

Audio description


More information and viewing details are available from operanorth.co.uk/access

Richard Mantle, General Director, Opera North, comments:

“Following fantastic critical and audience response to Trouble in Tahiti when we performed this show last year, we are extremely pleased to now be able to release this film of the production. It’s a really funny, bitingly satirical and thought-provoking work, with wonderful musical numbers, which deserves to be much better known than it is.

“Additionally, we are extremely proud to be presenting this work in accessible formats, with BSL interpretation, audio description, and captions, which explores a relatively under-developed way of making artistic work available to a wider audience, including people who are D/deaf and hard of hearing, blind and partially-sighted, and to a wider extent, anyone who is physically unable to attend a live performance of our work.”

Fiona Morris, CEO and Creative Director of The Space, said:

“The Space was delighted to partner with Opera North and support the organisation in building its digital capacity and ensuring its productions are accessible to the widest possible audience through the use of accessibility functions such as audio-description, signing and captioning.”

Trouble in Tahiti
Music and Libretto Leonard Bernstein
By permission of Boosey and Hawkes Publishers Limited and Universal Music Publishing

Sam Quirijn de Lang
Dinah Wallis Giunta
Trio Fflur Wyn, Joseph Shovelton, Nicholas Butterfield
Junior Charlie Southby

Conductor Tobias Ringborg
Director Matthew Eberhardt
Set Designer Charles Edwards

Costume Designer Hannah Clark
Lighting Design Charles Edwards, Ben Pickersgill
Movement Director Tim Claydon

The Orchestra of Opera North

Film credits:

Director Ross MacGibbon
Line Producer Nikki Weston
Executive Producer Helen Spencer

An Opera North production. Film commissioned by The Space.

Supported by Arts Council England.
With thanks to Leeds City Council,
The Emerald Foundation and the Garfield Weston Foundation.

The Space

The Space is a commissioning and development organisation, established by Arts Council England and the BBC to support greater digital access to the arts. The organisation commissions arts projects, offers online audience and digital skills development, and provides a production and distribution pipeline to ensure that these projects reach a wide and diverse range of audiences.