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John Adams's "Nixon in China" Receives Canadian Premiere at Vancouver Opera for 2010 Cultural Olympiad

  • Friday, March 12, 2010
    John Adams's "Nixon in China" Receives Canadian Premiere at Vancouver Opera for 2010 Cultural Olympiad

    John Adams led the London Symphony Orchestra in the European premiere of his latest work, City Noir, at London's Barbican Hall last night, as part of the Barbican's John Adams Focus. The Evening Standard gives the performance four stars. The new piece, says reviewer Nick Kimberley, "emerges as a dazzling showpiece." The artists will bring the program to the Salle Pleyel in Paris on Tuesday, which marks the start of the 11-day Domain privé focus on the composer's music in conjunction with Cité de la Musique.

    As was recently noted in the Nonesuch Journal, Adams's first opera, Nixon in China, will receive its Metropolitan Opera premiere in February 2011 with the composer in his own Met debut at the podium. But audiences won't have to wait till next year to experience the groundbreaking work, as it receives its Canadian premiere in the Vancouver Opera production opening tomorrow, March 13, at Vancouver's Queen Elizabeth Theatre. The presentation, which includes three additional performances this month, is part of the 2010 Cultural Olympiad. For information, visit vancouver2010.com.

    Exactly one week after tomorrow's Vancouver debut, 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. The company will give an encore performance on March 28 as well. For information on these events, visit longbeachopera.org.

    Los Angeles Times music critic Mark Swed took this moment of convergence for so many high-profile productions of Nixon in China to reflect on the opera's history, from the 1987 opening of the original Peter Sellars-led production at the newly built Houston Grand Opera house, and the story it tells, of President Richard Nixon's momentous 1972 trip to China to meet with Chairman Mao Tse-tung.

    Swed describes the opera's premiere as "a milestone in American opera" for its contemporary subject matter, which some critics were unable to appreciate at the time. And while the 20 years since its previous Los Angeles staging in 1990 have seen few comparable productions, "Nixon in China now comes to us as a classic," says Swed. "The opera remains as topical as ever, but the world has changed. And Adams, whose operatic credentials now also include The Death of Klinghoffer and Doctor Atomic, is no longer seen as an operatic upstart, which he was when he wrote Nixon in China. Controversy will no longer be a problem."

    What does remain after all this time, Swed insists, is, for him, "a marvelous, ever interesting" work.

    Read the complete article at latimes.com.

    For more on upcoming performances featuring John Adams, visit nonesuch.com/on-tour.

on March 12, 2010 - 12:27pm
Excerpt: 

John Adams led the LSO in the European premiere of his City Noir at London's Barbican Hall last night. The Evening Standard gives it four stars, calling the new piece "a dazzling showpiece." Adams's first opera, Nixon in China, receives its Canadian premiere at the Vancouver Opera tomorrow for the 2010 Cultural Olympiad. Next week, Long Beach Opera presents the first LA staging in two decades. Los Angeles Times' Mark Swed reflects on the opera's history, calling it a "classic" and "a marvelous, ever interesting" work.

Copy: 

John Adams led the London Symphony Orchestra in the European premiere of his latest work, City Noir, at London's Barbican Hall last night, as part of the Barbican's John Adams Focus. The Evening Standard gives the performance four stars. The new piece, says reviewer Nick Kimberley, "emerges as a dazzling showpiece." The artists will bring the program to the Salle Pleyel in Paris on Tuesday, which marks the start of the 11-day Domain privé focus on the composer's music in conjunction with Cité de la Musique.

As was recently noted in the Nonesuch Journal, Adams's first opera, Nixon in China, will receive its Metropolitan Opera premiere in February 2011 with the composer in his own Met debut at the podium. But audiences won't have to wait till next year to experience the groundbreaking work, as it receives its Canadian premiere in the Vancouver Opera production opening tomorrow, March 13, at Vancouver's Queen Elizabeth Theatre. The presentation, which includes three additional performances this month, is part of the 2010 Cultural Olympiad. For information, visit vancouver2010.com.

Exactly one week after tomorrow's Vancouver debut, 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. The company will give an encore performance on March 28 as well. For information on these events, visit longbeachopera.org.

Los Angeles Times music critic Mark Swed took this moment of convergence for so many high-profile productions of Nixon in China to reflect on the opera's history, from the 1987 opening of the original Peter Sellars-led production at the newly built Houston Grand Opera house, and the story it tells, of President Richard Nixon's momentous 1972 trip to China to meet with Chairman Mao Tse-tung.

Swed describes the opera's premiere as "a milestone in American opera" for its contemporary subject matter, which some critics were unable to appreciate at the time. And while the 20 years since its previous Los Angeles staging in 1990 have seen few comparable productions, "Nixon in China now comes to us as a classic," says Swed. "The opera remains as topical as ever, but the world has changed. And Adams, whose operatic credentials now also include The Death of Klinghoffer and Doctor Atomic, is no longer seen as an operatic upstart, which he was when he wrote Nixon in China. Controversy will no longer be a problem."

What does remain after all this time, Swed insists, is, for him, "a marvelous, ever interesting" work.

Read the complete article at latimes.com.

For more on upcoming performances featuring John Adams, visit nonesuch.com/on-tour.

Publish date: 
Friday, March 12, 2010 - 11:30
Article Type: 
featuredimage: 
John Adams: Nixon in China [cover]

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