Psappha presents Trouble in Tahiti

Ian Wilson - Humpty Dumpty world premiere
Bernstein - Arias and Barcarolles Bernstein - Trouble in Tahiti UK premiere of new orchestration by Garth Sunderland

Bernstein's first foray into music theatre, his one-act operatic masterpiece Trouble in Tahiti, bites deep into the Big Apple. Its bittersweet exploration of the shattered American dream and a day in the life of a young married couple draws on jazz, musical and operatic idioms, as well as pop-ish jingles of the early 1950s.

'I like music with a theme, not all them arias and barcarolles,' declared President Eisenhower to Bernstein. Nearly 30 years later the composer responded wittily with Arias and Barcarolle, another semi-autobiographical entertainment, setting mostly his own texts exploring the joys and frustrations, hopes and realities of family relationships. Bright Shengís inventive scoring for strings, percussion and two singers loses none of Bernsteinís piquant use of a variety of musical styles.

In a novel reinterpretation of the tale of Humpty Dumpty's fall - part morality play and part vehicle for some extravagant singing - the vocal champion Don Dumpty is left looking rather eggy by a rival competitor. Composed for Psappha by Ian Wilson to a libretto by Brian Leyden, this sparkling new work puts Humpty together again. An engaging and witty operatic double bill.

Meet the artist: 6.45pm
Tickets: £19.00, £16 (£15.50, £13.50 concessions) £7 Young person

Presented in association with Psappha

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