On 25 & 26 March at 8pm, Bloomsbury Opera opened the doors of Goodenough College’s Great Hall and invited the outside world to step into Tahiti!, a double bill in which Leonard Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti was prefaced by the world premiere of Pacific Pleasures, a new opera by Alannah Marie Halay on a libretto by Jorge Balça.
Directed by Jorge Balça, Karin Hendrickson conducted a vibrant and talented orchestra of young musicians. As Tahiti! unfolded, the five-strong ensemble cast of Joshua Baxter, Rebecca Cuddy, Eleri Gwilym, Edward Laurenson and Ashley Mercer asked the audience to consider ‘what’s your Tahiti?’
Set in a typical residential suburb, Tahiti! told the story of a young couple who, despite apparently having all the key ingredients for happiness and having been afforded all the opportunities to hold on to it and be truly happy, alas … are not.
Using a range of dramatic strategies, such as physical theatre and puppeteering, Tahiti! explored the extent to which our lives are already mapped out even before we start living them.
It questioned the degree of agency we believe we have, and highlighted our seemingly chronic resistance to making changes, even when current events force us to face the undisputable failure of our plans.
It was a fantastic performance, and our special thanks go to Jorge and Bloomsbury Opera for putting on such a groundbreaking and remarkable show. We eagerly anticipate next year's big production.