L. Bernstein: Trouble in Tahiti
Leonard Bernstein was on his honeymoon in 1951 when he began composing his one-act opera, Trouble in Tahiti, a candid portrait of the troubled marriage of a young suburban couple. Written between his biggest Broadway successes-- On the Town in 1944 and Candide and West Side Story in 1956 and 1957, respectively-- Trouble in Tahiti draws upon popular song styles to deliver an uncompromising critique of post-war American materialism. Beneath the couple's marital discord is a profound longing for love and intimacy. Their spiritual emptiness, in contrast to a veneer of happy consumerism, creates the heart of the drama and is emphasized by sudden stylistic shifts in the music. Bernstein dedicated the piece to his close friend Marc Blitzstein, who had led him toward music theater.