Friday, June 8, 2012
John Adams's "Nixon in China" Makes San Francisco Opera Debut; Atlanta Symphony Performs "A Flowering Tree"
The San Francisco Chronicle's music critic Joshua Kosman, in a preview of the performances, says: "Nixon thrives in its transcendent vantage point, examining and illuminating the meeting of empires as if from some future retrospective. It's a viewpoint that only becomes deeper and more valuable with every passing year." Read the article at sfgate.com.
Adams spoke with the San Jose Mercury News writer Richard Scheinin about Nixon in China, the inspiration behind it, the impact it has had in the 25 years since its premiere, and much more; read the extensive interview at mercurynews.com. And see below for a preview of the production, featuring excerpts of some of the opera's most memorable moments. For additional details and tickets, go to sfopera.com.
Also this weekend, John Adams' latest opera, A Flowering Tree, will be performed by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, led by music director Robert Spano, at Atlanta Symphony Hall Saturday night. All three principal performers who originated the roles and are featured on the 2008 Nonesuch first-recording of the piece—soprano Jessica Rivera, tenor Russel Thomas, and bass-baritone Eric Owens—reprise their roles in this Theater of a Concert staging in Atlanta. For details, go to atlantasymphony.org.
To coincide with last year's Metropolitan Opera premiere of Nixon in China, Nonesuch Records reissued the Grammy-winning recording of the 1987 original cast in a newly redesigned and specially-priced three-CD set (pictured above), featuring a 68-page booklet with the complete libretto and new notes, along with the original liner notes by librettist Alice Goodman and by the late Michael Steinberg, which the Los Angeles Times described as "a revelation." That recording is available in the Nonesuch Store, as is the 2008 recording of A Flowering Tree.
Preview the San Francisco production of Nixon in China here: