I’m Jessie Hethcoat, a reporter from The Beacon who focuses on arts and entertainment writing. This evening, I’m one of four college bloggers for the Portland Opera’s opening night of “Trouble in Tahiti” by composer Leonard Bernstein. I am absolutely, unequivocally excited.
I’ll be blogging on my personal blog (http://jessiereads.wordpress.com/), The Beacon blog and posting on my Facebook page.
First, we’re scheduled to arrive and receive a backstage tour with other college bloggers. Next, we meet with stage director Nic Muni and subsequently blog, before the show begins. The show starts at 7:30, and we will then blog both at intermission and after the show ends.
This production of Trouble in Tahiti is a Studio Artist production. So the bloggers (as well as the performers?) are students. As far as I’m concerned, all of us will be trying to do the same thing: impress the hell out of those professionals. Key word, trying.
All blogging will take place in the lobby of the Newmark Theatre in downtown Portland at 1111 SW Broadway (at Main Street), where the show will take place.
Now, a bit of background on the opera itself, for me and for you. The fabulous Alexis Hamilton, director of education and outreach for the Portland Opera, provides all the information you need for a Portland Opera production. Her study guides are on the Portland Opera website.
Composed by Leonardo Bernstein, who some refer to as “the first great American composer,” this opera is not one of the most famous in existence; but it is certainly recognized for its innovation and purely American aim.
Composed in 1952, Trouble in Tahiti advertises “the charms of family life” and the cult of domesticity. My guess is that the Portland Opera will have a similar take on this opera as they did with Cosi Fan Tutte. Mozart wrote Cosi , and the Portland Opera used a production with a 1950s setting to make the questionable (sexist) assertions about women a little more tongue-in-cheek.
From what it seems, Bernstein’s opera gives a good deal of sympathy to Dina, the housewife of the opera. Unlike Mozart’s assertion that “Women are All Like That” in Cosi, Bernstein’s opera further investigates the plight of the housewife and her abused emotions.
As well as Trouble in Tahiti, there are two other acts Il ballo delle ingrate (The Dance of the Ungrateful Women) and Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda by Claudio Monteverdi.
Blog ya later.