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  • Tuesday, February 23, 2010
    John Adams's "Nixon in China," Directed by Peter Sellars, to Make Met Premiere in 2010-11 Season; Composer to Conduct

    The Metropolitan Opera's General Manager Peter Gelb and Music Director James Levine have announced its 2010-11 performance season, which will feature the Met premiere of John Adams's groundbreaking first opera, Nixon in China. The composer will make his Met debut on the podium on February 2, conducting the Met premiere of the opera. This also marks the Met directorial of Peter Sellars, the composer's frequent and longtime collaborator, who directed the world premiere of Nixon in China at the Houston Grand Opera in 1987. These performances will feature the production Sellars created for the English National Opera, based on the original Houston production.

    Nixon in China, with a libretto by Alice Goodman, explores President Nixon’s 1972 encounter with Mao Tse-tung and Communist China. Adams’s work, says Sellars, “shows you what opera can do to history, which is to deepen it and move into its more subtle, nuanced and mysterious corners.” James Maddalena, who sang the role of Richard Nixon at the world premiere and on the Nonesuch original recording, reprises his interpretation here, opposite Janis Kelly as Pat Nixon and Robert Brubaker as Mao Tse-tung. Kathleen Kim is Mao’s wife Chiang Ch’ing and Russell Braun portrays Chou En-lai. Richard Paul Fink is Henry Kissinger. Sellars’s creative team includes set designer Adrianne Lobel, costume designer Dunya Ramicova, lighting designer James F. Ingalls, choreographer Mark Morris, and sound designer Mark Grey.

    For further production and season ticket information, visit metoperafamily.org. To listen to clips from the Nonesuch recording, visit the Nonesuch Store.

    ---

    In the current season, Nixon in China will receive its Canadian premiere when Vancouver Opera presents four performances of the work at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, starting March 13, as part of the 2010 Cultural Olympiad. For information, visit vancouver2010.com. Later that month, the opera will be given its first Los Angeles staging in two decades when the Long Beach Opera presents the piece at the Terrace Theater in Long Beach, March 20 and 28. For information, visit longbeachopera.org.

    ---

    The Met also announced the continuation of the Met/LCT Opera/Theater Commissions program, with 11 composer/librettist teams participating. The first work to be produced from this program will be Nico Muhly’s debut opera, set to a libretto by Craig Lucas (The Light in the Piazza), scheduled for the Met's 2013-14 season. Five other pairs have identified subjects for their collaborations, including the teams of composer Ricky Ian Gordon and librettist Michael Korie, composer Michael John LaChiusa (a featured composer on Audra McDonald's Nonesuch debut, Way Back to Paradise) and librettist Sybille Pearson, and composer Jeanine Tesori and playwright Tony Kushner (Angels in America). Adam Guettel is among the composers currently exploring ideas for the program.

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John Adams's "Nixon in China," Directed by Peter Sellars, to Make Met Premiere in 2010-11 Season; Composer to Conduct

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on February 23, 2010 - 12:25pm
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Tuesday, February 23, 2010 - 15:30
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The Metropolitan Opera has announced its 2010-11 season, which features the Met premiere of John Adams's Nixon in China. The composer makes his Met debut on the podium conducting the Met premiere of the opera. It also marks the Met directorial of Peter Sellars, who led the 1987 world premiere of Nixon in China at the Houston Grand Opera. James Maddalena returns as Nixon, the role he originated and sang on the Nonesuch recording.

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The Metropolitan Opera's General Manager Peter Gelb and Music Director James Levine have announced its 2010-11 performance season, which will feature the Met premiere of John Adams's groundbreaking first opera, Nixon in China. The composer will make his Met debut on the podium on February 2, conducting the Met premiere of the opera. This also marks the Met directorial of Peter Sellars, the composer's frequent and longtime collaborator, who directed the world premiere of Nixon in China at the Houston Grand Opera in 1987. These performances will feature the production Sellars created for the English National Opera, based on the original Houston production.

Nixon in China, with a libretto by Alice Goodman, explores President Nixon’s 1972 encounter with Mao Tse-tung and Communist China. Adams’s work, says Sellars, “shows you what opera can do to history, which is to deepen it and move into its more subtle, nuanced and mysterious corners.” James Maddalena, who sang the role of Richard Nixon at the world premiere and on the Nonesuch original recording, reprises his interpretation here, opposite Janis Kelly as Pat Nixon and Robert Brubaker as Mao Tse-tung. Kathleen Kim is Mao’s wife Chiang Ch’ing and Russell Braun portrays Chou En-lai. Richard Paul Fink is Henry Kissinger. Sellars’s creative team includes set designer Adrianne Lobel, costume designer Dunya Ramicova, lighting designer James F. Ingalls, choreographer Mark Morris, and sound designer Mark Grey.

For further production and season ticket information, visit metoperafamily.org. To listen to clips from the Nonesuch recording, visit the Nonesuch Store.

---

In the current season, Nixon in China will receive its Canadian premiere when Vancouver Opera presents four performances of the work at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, starting March 13, as part of the 2010 Cultural Olympiad. For information, visit vancouver2010.com. Later that month, the opera will be given its first Los Angeles staging in two decades when the Long Beach Opera presents the piece at the Terrace Theater in Long Beach, March 20 and 28. For information, visit longbeachopera.org.

---

The Met also announced the continuation of the Met/LCT Opera/Theater Commissions program, with 11 composer/librettist teams participating. The first work to be produced from this program will be Nico Muhly’s debut opera, set to a libretto by Craig Lucas (The Light in the Piazza), scheduled for the Met's 2013-14 season. Five other pairs have identified subjects for their collaborations, including the teams of composer Ricky Ian Gordon and librettist Michael Korie, composer Michael John LaChiusa (a featured composer on Audra McDonald's Nonesuch debut, Way Back to Paradise) and librettist Sybille Pearson, and composer Jeanine Tesori and playwright Tony Kushner (Angels in America). Adam Guettel is among the composers currently exploring ideas for the program.

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John Adams: Nixon in China [cover]

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