Conductor: Leonard Bernstein
Moods: Comic, Romantic
Subjects: Contemporary, Relationships, Society
Style: Musically, Bernstein indulges in many of the styles he is most recognized for. The heroine's first aria has a wistful melancholy reminiscent of Aaron Copland's earlier vernacular works and of Bernstein's later writing in West Side Story, while the jazzy interludes harken back to the score Bernstein wrote for On the Town.
Vernacular: Bernstein tried to make his opera as real as possible. He wanted everything about it to be believable. He even went to great lengths to write in language that would be heard in everyday speech during that time. “All the music [in Trouble in
Tahiti] derives from American vernacular roots, as do the words. And the words are very carefully set so that they will sound in the American cadence and with the American kind of syncopated, almost slurred quality”.
Inspiration: While it was rumoured that the troubled young couple was based on Leonard Bernstein himself and his new bride, Felicia Monealegre, there is another, perhaps more plausible, theory that the story is based on the relationship of Bernstein’s own mother and father.
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