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He is a hard-working American providing for his family and sharing his time between home, company and the gym. She is paying a high price for the monotonous life of “a husband's wife” in the form of nervous breakdowns. She lives in her own world, as if next to her husband, but aside. Then there is their son. He forgets about their child. She drowns her sorrows in spirits. Here's life...
This story is presented in the rarely staged forgotten opera by Leonard Bernstein, “Trouble in Tahiti”. The famous composer, known for “West Side Story” and “On The Town”, created a short 40-minute-long piece about the misery in which middle class Americans are stuck. This musical collage combines Latino phrases with the jazz motifs typical of the maestro Bernstein. All of this is accompanied by a seemingly not so entertaining harmony and instrumentation.