Trouble in Tahiti
Composer: Leonard Bernstein
Librettist: Leonard Bernstein
Other Artistic Personnel: Elliot Silverstein (Director)
Original Cast: Nell Tangeman, David Atkinson, Constance Brigham, Robert Kole, Claude Heater
Work Web Site:
Premiere Date: June 12, 1952
Producing Company: Brandeis University
Description: Considered a light-hearted but pointed satire of 1950s suburban sophistication and marital discontent, the work concerns the "path to divorce" followed by a housewife and her commuting husband. Dinah and Sam, both in their thirties, shatter the opening trio's mood of romantic bliss with their domestic quarreling. They have grown apart after ten years of marriage. Sam gets the escape and understanding he needs from his office and gym while Dinah's trips to the psychiatrist and her spending sprees do the same for her. The lack of communication between the two reaches a climax when they both go see a terrible movie, Trouble in Tahiti, a film which Dinah doesn't admit to having seen earlier that day. The Greek chorus (the trio), in the style of radio commercials of the time, extolls the virtues of suburban life.
Character List (Major): Dinah (mz)
Sam (bb)
Character List (Minor): Jazz Trio (s/mz, high t, high bar)
Reviews: The New York Times, Bernard Holland, 2-22-89; Times-Union, Albany, NY, Dardis McNamee; 8-11-81; Syracuse Herald-Journal, Earl George, 8-10-81; The Observer-Dispatch, Utica, NY, Joelyn Wakefield-Wright, 8-5-81; Syracuse Post-Standard, Larry McGinn, 8-6-81; The New York Times, Allan Kozinn, 10-11-88; The New York Times, Bernard Holland, 1-31-88.
Comments: Total list of recordings: Columbia KM-32597, Columbia Wind Ensemble; WNET/PBS telecast, NY, 8-9-77; Videotape: Sydney Symphony Orchestra, 3-19-72, #10080; NBC Orchestra, 11-16-52, #10741; (Orchestra not identified) Seymour Lipkin, cond., 12-1-55, #10742; Nederlandse Opera, 10-24-63, #10743; BBC version, 3-17-68, #10570; Amberson Video Production, 1976, #13269; Switzerland performance, 11-19-81, #12046.
Video Clip:
Length: 00:40
Total Acts: 1
Chorus: No chorus
Orchestration: 2 fl(picc), 2 Eng Hrn, 2 bcl, 2 bsn(dbn) - 2 hrn, 2 tpt, 2 tbn, 1 tba - timp, perc(cym, BD, high & low TD, snare dr, tgl, wdbls, tpl bls, gong, tom-t, vib, xyl) - hp - str(1 vln1, 1 vln2, 1 vla, 1 vc, 1 db)
Musical Style: Jazz-based, brightly scored
Contact: Boosey & Hawkes, Inc. (as agents for Amberson Productions, publisher and copyright owner)
Address: 229 W 28th Street, Floor 11
New York, NY 10001
E-mail Address:
Phone: 212-358-5300
Composer Web Site:
Publisher Web Site:
Schedule of Performances Listings
Trouble in Tahiti (Bernstein)
Sunday, July 20, 2014 - Central City Opera
Trouble in Tahiti (Bernstein)
Friday, April 4, 2014 - Florida Opera Theatre
Trouble in Tahiti (Bernstein)
Sunday, June 19, 2011 - LOOK Music Theatre
Trouble in Tahiti (Bernstein)
Friday, March 26, 2010 - Portland Opera
Trouble in Tahiti (Bernstein)
Friday, May 1, 2009 - Greensboro Opera Company
Trouble in Tahiti (Bernstein)
Friday, March 23, 2007 - Living Opera
Trouble in Tahiti (Bernstein)
Friday, February 17, 2006 - Curtis Institute of Music Opera Theatre
Trouble in Tahiti (Bernstein)
Wednesday, December 9, 1998 - Manhattan School of Music Opera Theater
Trouble in Tahiti (Bernstein)
Saturday, June 13, 1998 - Nashville Opera
Trouble in Tahiti (Bernstein)
Wednesday, June 25, 1997 - Opera Carolina
Trouble in Tahiti (Bernstein)
Friday, March 15, 1996 - State Opera of South Australia
Trouble in Tahiti (Bernstein)
Saturday, October 7, 1995 - Tulsa Opera
Trouble in Tahiti (Bernstein)
Friday, August 4, 1995 - Ryan Opera Center
Trouble in Tahiti (Bernstein)
Saturday, May 6, 1995 - Ryan Opera Center
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Tel: 212.796.8620 • Fax: 212.796.8621

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