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Madison Opera Presents TROUBLE IN TAHITI And THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS

The double-bill by two acclaimed composers is a company premiere.

Madison Opera Presents TROUBLE IN TAHITI And THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS

Madison Opera brings a jazz-tinged beat into the winter with a double-bill of Leonard Bernstein's Trouble in Tahiti and Kurt Weill's The Seven Deadly Sins. Performances are Friday, February 3 at 8pm and Sunday, February 5 at 2:30pm in the Capitol Theater at Overture Center for the Arts.

Trouble in Tahiti is set in 1950s suburbia, and tells of the struggles of married couple Dinah and Sam to find happiness in their discontent. The opera takes them from the breakfast table to the office, therapist's couch, gym, and movie theater, as their yearning for connection is backed up by a vocal jazz trio.

The Seven Deadly Sins follows a woman named Anna as she journeys across the U.S. to earn money to buy a home, resisting sin in every city she visits. Weill dubbed his 1933 piece a "ballet chanté," and the libretto by Bertolt Brecht splits Anna into two halves of the same woman, a singer and a dancer. Kanopy Dance joins Madison Opera for this extraordinary work.

These two one-act works premiered only 19 years apart, but were conceived in disparate circumstances. The German Kurt Weill wrote The Seven Deadly Sins in Paris, where he had fled after the Nazis seized power in 1933. The original production starred his wife Lotte Lenya, and was directed and choreographed by George Balanchine, who had himself fled to Paris from the Soviet Union. Although not an initial success, it gained acclaim when Balanchine revived it with his New York City Ballet in 1958, and has since been performed worldwide.

Leonard Bernstein wrote Trouble in Tahiti while on his honeymoon in 1951; it premiered in 1952. The work's biting depiction of marital discord amidst suburban abundance has been performed ever since. With a heart-wrenching story told through wonderful arias, including the show-stopping "What a Movie."

"I love both of these pieces," says Madison Opera General Director, Kathryn Smith. "Although a generation apart, Weill and Bernstein were both highly theatrical composers, and both had hits on Broadway in the 1940s. These two operas share a sharp edge to their story-telling, as the weight of the times in which they were written is evident throughout."

"Trouble in Tahiti and The Seven Deadly Sins are respectively almost 70 and 90 years old," she adds, "but will be new to our audiences. I could not be more excited about this production, which stars Rehanna Thelwell in both pieces, along with members of Madison's own Kanopy Dance."



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