Seattle Philharmonic/Seattle Opera Young Artists

A comic—kind of—take on marriage

The first opera about suburban soullessness, Leonard Bernstein’s 1952 one-act Trouble in Tahiti follows a middle-class couple through a despairingly typical day. Sam is a corporate climber who gets a blustering locker-room aria about winning, winning, winning, while the highlight of his bored wife Dinah’s day is sitting through a terrible South Seas romance film (hence the title), which she recounts in detail in her big scene. They bicker, they lie, they avoid each other. At the downbeat climax, they no longer even try to communicate—which Bernstein signals simply but devastatingly by letting his music drop out as the pair finish their dialogue spoken. No stabbings, no consumption; the tragedy in this opera is that they’re stuck with each other. Meanwhile, a backup trio adds ironic vocal commentary, scat-singing about the sun kissing the liddle white house, skiddly-doo-bop, in Scarsdale. . . in Shaker Heights. . . An energetic cast from the Seattle Opera’s Young Artists Program joins the Seattle Philharmonic for a split bill, with Trouble on one half (a reprise of their staged production last November) and Mozart arias and overtures on the other. Adam Stern conducts. Meany Hall, UW campus, 525-0443, www.seattlephil.com. $10-$18. 7:30 p.m. GAVIN BORCHERT

Sat., Feb. 16, 7:30 p.m., 2008

 
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