Trouble in Tahiti

The Opera Society, Opsoc, performed Leonard Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti in the Djanogly Recital Hall

Many think of opera as sitting through hours of tedious singing in a language they don’t understand. Leonard Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti however, at only 40 minutes long, is a well observed commentary on suburban life in ‘50s America, an opera that the University of Nottingham’s opera society performed with considerable skill and passion.


A bare stage, consisting of simple home furnishings, set the scene for the marital troubles of Sam and his wife Dinah, played by Greg Link and Mia Bekvalac respectively. This allowed for the emotion and rapport of the two singers to come through.

Being such a small cast, backed only by a piano- the fiendishly difficult part mastered by Dan Parr- the roles were very exposed but both singers took this in their stride, owning the stage and the audience commendably.


Although neither of the characters appeared particularly likeable- Sam is arrogant and self interested and Dinah seems miserable yet apathetic- the audience was drawn into their lives and as they sung about having to lie to each other The Tab just couldn’t help but sympathise.


Hitting the big time, with a feature in the local newspaper

In addition to the couple, a trio of singers were on hand to comment on the action. Consisting of Lily Bracegirdle, Rosie Gawthrop and David Brooks, the chorus were light hearted and painted a picture of idyllic suburban life. Frequently having the audience giggling away at their actions, they provided a distraction to the raw emotions elsewhere on stage.


Despite being a one off performance, it was clear the dedication that all involved had put in, and the evening was an excellent demonstration of the musical skill the university has to offer that was thoroughly enjoyed by all.