WCSU Opera Ensemble presents Bernstein’s ‘Trouble in Tahiti’ Dec. 5
Western student cast to perform contemporary opera set in middle-class suburban America
DANBURY, CONN. — The Western Connecticut State University Opera Ensemble will present Leonard Bernstein’s “Trouble in Tahiti,” a one-act opera set in middle-class American suburbia after World War II, at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 5, 2015, in the university’s Veronica Hagman Concert Hall.
The opera, part of Bernstein’s musical composition legacy that also included “On the Town” and “West Side Story,” will be performed in the concert hall at the Visual and Performing Arts Center on the WCSU Westside campus, 43 Lake Ave. Extension in Danbury. General admission will be $10; reservations may be made online at www.wcsuvpac.eventbrite.com or by calling (203) 837-8732.
“Trouble in Tahiti” premiered in June 1952 at Bernstein’s Festival of the Creative Arts in Massachusetts, and was later presented in 1958 at the New York City Opera. The opera’s libretto in English, written by Bernstein in the American vernacular of the early 1950s, tells the story of a day in the life of a troubled young married couple, Sam and Dinah, against the backdrop of discontent and disenchantment in suburbia. An argument over breakfast sets the tone for struggle throughout the day to reconcile the pop-culture image of the couple’s blissful suburban lifestyle with the reality of the couple’s frustrations, loneliness and inability to communicate, capped as the play ends with their departure for an evening of escapist entertainment to see the film, “Trouble in Tahiti.”
Professor of Music Dr. Margaret Astrup will be the director of the WCSU production. The leading roles will be performed by WCSU students Kassiani Kontothanasis, of Meriden, as the disillusioned and unhappy housewife Dinah, and Steve Valenzuela, of Waterbury, as the intensely competitive businessman Sam. The small supporting cast will feature a trio of jazz singers acting as the “Greek chorus” commenting on the unfolding story of the opera including Samantha Feliciano, of Stratford; Sergio Mandujano, of Norwalk; and Edwin Rodriguez, of New Haven.
Western Connecticut State University offers outstanding faculty in a range of quality academic programs. Our diverse university community provides students an enriching and supportive environment that takes advantage of the unique cultural offerings of Western Connecticut and New York. Our vision: To be an affordable public university with the characteristics of New England’s best small private universities.