Dutch National Opera presents

Trouble in Tahiti / Clemency Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) / James MacMillan (1959)

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Please note! This performance is in Theater de Meervaart.

the american dream?

Breaks 1

By Leonard Bernstein / James MacMillan

Language English

Surtitles Dutch and English

Two short opera's directed by the upcoming talented American director Ted Huffman.


In Bernstein’s short opera Trouble in Tahiti, popular songs, familiar advert tunes and a good dose of humour form the basis for an uncompromising criticism of American materialism.

This opera in one act is about the repressed marital problems of Sam and Dinah, a young couple living in an American suburb. In contrast to the ideal image of the American Dream, Sam and Dinah are desperately unhappy.


Clemency, by the Scottish composer James MacMillan is a small-scale opera with five singers (four men and one woman) and a chamber ensemble made up only of strings, in order to create a compact, homogenous sound.

The story is about Abraham and Sarah, who are visited by three mysterious people. Are they angels, divine beings or maybe terrorists? MacMillan sees more of a link to people of today and their fortunes than to Hollywood-style biblical dramas.

About this production

Upcoming talented American director Ted Huffman studied at Yale University and participated in the San Francisco Merola Opera Program. Recently, he directed Luke Styles’ Macbeth, for which he also wrote the libretto. In 2016, he directed the world premiere of 4.48 Psychosis, composed by Philip Venables, at ROH Covent Garden, for which he received the ‘UK Theatre Award for Achievement in Opera’. Previously with DNO talent, he directed the very successful Les mamelles de Tirésias.

The young talented British conductor, Duncan Ward, leads the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra.

Ted Huffman


Director Ted Huffman was recently nominated for an Olivier Award for Best New Opera Production and for an RPS Music Award in Opera for 4.48 Psychosis at the Royal Opera House.



Along with the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra has been the regular orchestra partner of Dutch National Opera since 1985, and is internationally regarded as one of the best opera orchestras. Each season, the two orchestras perform the majority of the opera productions in Dutch National Opera & Ballet. The Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra gives a varied programme of concerts in the Concertgebouw and also performs at other major concert halls and festivals in the Netherlands and abroad. Marc Albrecht is the principal conductor of the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra|Netherlands Chamber Orchestra and of Dutch National Opera. In recent seasons, Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra has had great success with audiences and international press alike, with productions including Gurre-Lieder, Lohengrin, Der Rosenkavalier, Il Trovatore and Hänsel und Gretel. The Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Marc Albrecht, received an Edison for their recording of the DNO production Der Schatzgräber, in December 2014.

Team, Cast and Chorus

Musical director
Duncan Ward
Stage director
Ted Huffman
Sam Pinkleton
Elena Zamparutti
Gisella Cappelli
Alex Brok
Pierre Martin
Assistent set design
Rebecca Petrani
Netherlands Chamber Orchestra
Turiya Haudenhuyse
Sebastià Peris i Marco
The Trio
Kelly Poukens (Soprano or Mezzo Soprano)
Lucas van Lierop (High Tenor)
Dominic Kraemer (High Baritone)
Jenny Stafford
Frederik Bergman
The Triplets
Lucas van Lierop (First tenor)
Stefan Kennedy (Second tenor)
Alexander de Jong (Baritone)

Founding Partners








Jonge Musici Fonds, Aafje Heynis Fonds & Romke Kalma Fonds