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Nixon in China [Blu-ray/DVD]

Nixon in China [Blu-ray/DVD] cover art

Track Listing

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1Opening Credits and Introduction by Thomas Hampson
2Act I: Introduction
3Act I: "Soldiers of heaven hold the sky"
4Act I: "The people are the heroes now"
5Act I: "Your flight was smooth, I hope?"
6Act I: "News has a kind of mystery"
7Act I: "The rats began to chew the sheets"
8Act I: "I can't talk very well"
9Act I: "You've said that there's a certain well-known tree"
10Act I: "Founders come first"
11Act I: "The world to come has come"
12Act I: "We no longer need Confucius"
13Act I: "Like the Ming Tombs"
14Act I: "The night is young"
15Act I: "Gam bei! Gam bei!"
16Act I: "Ladies and gentlemen"
17Act I: "Mr. Premier, distinguished guests"
18Interview with James Maddalena and Janis Kelly
19Interview with Peter Sellars
20Interview with Winston Lord and Adrianne Lobel
21Interview with John Adams
22Act II: "I don’t daydream and don’t look back"
23Act II: "Look down, look down"
24Act II: "This little elephant in glass"
25Act II: "Look down, look down"
26Act II: "Come, come see the pigs"
27Act II: "This is prophetic!"
28Act II: "At last the weather's warming up"
29Act II: "Young as we are"
30Act II: "Oh what a day I thought I'd die!"
31Act II: "Whip her to death!"
32Act II: "Thank God you came"
33Act II: Ballet pas de deux
34Act II: "Flesh rebels"
35Act II: "I have my brief"
36Act II: "I am the wife of Mao Tse-tung"
37Interview with Russell Braun and Richard Paul Fink
38Act III: "Some men you cannot satisfy"
39Act III: "Hit it, boys"
40Act III: "And to what end?"
41Act III: "Sitting around the radio"
42Act III: "When I woke up"
43Act III: "I can keep still"
44Act III: "Peking watches the stars"
45Act III: "You won at poker"
46Act III: "I am old and cannot sleep forever"
47Bows and Closing Credits

News & Reviews

  • John Adams’s "City Noir" & Saxophone Concerto Due May 6 with St. Louis Symphony, David Robertson, Saxophonist Timothy McAllister

    Nonesuch Records releases City Noir—comprising the title piece by composer John Adams and the debut recording of his Saxophone Concerto—on May 6, 2014. Both pieces are performed by the St. Louis Symphony led by Music Director David Robertson. Saxophonist Timothy McAllister is featured on both pieces. The City Noir album is available to pre-order in the Nonesuch Store.

  • John Adams Joins Toronto Symphony Orchestra for Its Tenth Annual New Creations Festival

    John Adams has teamed up with Toronto Symphony Orchestra Music Director Peter Oundjian for the tenth-annual New Creations Festival, running Saturday, March 1, through Friday, March 7. Following his TSO debut in the 2011 New Creations Festival, Adams returns with his music as a focus in the 2014 Festival, with Oundjian leading the TSO in his Doctor Atomic Symphony and the composer leading the orchestra in the Canadian premieres of his Slonimsky’s Earbox and Absolute Jest.

About this Album

“The opera and the production may have come to the Met at just the right time to comprehend the continuing resonances of this audacious and moving opera.” —New York Times

Nonesuch Records releases the Metropolitan Opera’s performance of John Adams’ Nixon in China, with the composer conducting, on Blu-ray and DVD together in one package on November 19, 2012. The Met’s production, staged by Adams’ longtime collaborator Peter Sellars, stars James Maddalena as Richard Nixon, a role he created at the opera’s world premiere in 1987 and has since performed at international leading opera houses, including the English National Opera, Netherlands Opera, and Brooklyn Academy of Music. Nixon in China was recorded and broadcast live in movie theaters around the world as part of The Met: Live in HD on February 12, 2011—10 days after the opera received its Met premiere.

The opera’s libretto is by American poet Alice Goodman, who also collaborated with Adams and Sellars on The Death of Klinghoffer. The Met’s production, which was originally created by the English National Opera, features the work of the 1987 world premiere’s design team, including set designer Adrianne Lobel, costume designer Dunya Ramicova, lighting designer James F. Ingalls, and choreographer Mark Morris. Nixon in China also features Janis Kelly as Pat Nixon, Kathleen Kim as Chiang Ch’ing, Robert Brubaker as Mao Tse-tung, Russell Braun as Chou En-lai, and Richard Paul Fink as Henry Kissinger. Adams, who regularly conducts major orchestras around the world, made his Met debut as conductor with Nixon in China; his opera Doctor Atomic had its Met premiere in a well-reviewed 2008 production.

“I met Peter Sellars in 1983, and he proposed the idea and even the title for Nixon in China. My first response was pretty skeptical—Nixon was little more than a butt for late night comedians by that time,” Adams tells the Met’s Elena Park in an interview published in the Blu-ray/DVD’s booklet. “But I eventually realized it was a perfect idea, and that it was right to find our mythology in our own contemporary history.”

In the same interview, Sellars says of Nixon in China’s arrival at the Met: “It’s very sweet after 25 years. We created it as anti-grand opera originally, and now it’s beautiful that at the Met it can be genuinely grand. The work was made by a group of very young, very idealistic people. We were trying to show what opera can contribute to history, which is to deepen it and move it into its more subtle, nuanced, and mysterious corners, which might just open into more surprising and satisfying possibilities for a future.”

The Nixon in China Blu-ray/DVD is John Adams’ 27th Nonesuch release, beginning with Harmonielehre in 1986. The most recent release was 2011’s Son of Chamber Symphony/String Quartet.


Music by John Adams
Libretto by Alice Goodman
Directed by Peter Sellars

Conducted by John Adams
The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Chorus and Ballet
Chorus Master: Donald Palumbo

Cast (in order of appearance):
Chou En-lai: Russell Braun
Nancy T’ang (First Secretary to Mao): Ginger Costa-Jackson
Second Secretary to Mao: Teresa S. Herold
Third Secretary to Mao: Tamara Mumford
Richard Nixon: James Maddalena
Pat Nixon: Janis Kelly
Henry Kissinger: Richard Paul Fink
Mao Tse-tung: Robert Brubaker
Chiang Ch’ing (Madame Mao Tse-tung): Kathleen Kim
Solo Dancers: Haruno Yamazaki, Kanji Segawa

Production: Peter Sellars
Set Designer: Adrianne Lobel
Costume Designer: Dunya Ramicova
Lighting Designer: James F. Ingalls
Choreographer: Mark Morris
Sound Designer: Mark Grey

A Metropolitan Opera
High-Definition Production

Director: Peter Sellars
Music Producer: Jay David Saks
Supervising Producers: Mia Bongiovanni, Elena Park
Producers: Louisa Briccetti, Victoria Warivonchik
Executive Producer: Peter Gelb

Musical Preparation: Gregory Buchalter, John Churchwell, Howard Watkins, Caren Levine, Steven Osgood
Assistant Stage Directors: Eric Einhorn, Fred Frumberg, Kathleen Smith Belcher
English Coach: Erie Mills
Prompter: Gregory Buchalter
Assistant to Mark Morris: Peter Wing Healey
Dramaturg: Paul Cremo

Nixon in China is performed by arrangement with Hendon Music, Inc., a Boosey & Hawkes company, publisher and copyright owner.

Production originally created by English National Opera

Blu-ray & DVD Menu Design by Craig Anderson
Blu-ray Authoring by Craig Anderson
DVD Authoring by David Dieckmann
Designed and Authored at Craigman Digital

Package Design: August Heffner
Photography © 2011 Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera

English Subtitles: Met Titles adapted by David Rebhun © Metropolitan Opera 2011
French, German and Spanish Subtitles: © Metropolitan Opera 2010

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