Music from "Nixon in China"

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DescriptionExcerpt

Adams describes this landmark work as “part epic, part satire, part parody of political posturing, and part serious examination of historical, philosophical, and even gender issues.” The Boston Globe called it “a milestone in American operatic history.” This collection contains highlights from the Grammy-winning 1987 recording.

Description

Adams describes this landmark work as “part epic, part satire, part parody of political posturing, and part serious examination of historical, philosophical, and even gender issues.” The Boston Globe called it “a milestone in American operatic history.” This collection contains highlights from the Grammy-winning 1987 recording.

ProductionCredits

PRODUCTION CREDITS
The premiere performances of Nixon in China took place at the Houston Grand Opera (October 22–November 7, 1987), the Brooklyn Academy of Music (December 4–17, 1987), The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (March 26–April 5, 1988), and The Netherlands Opera (June 2–18, 1988).
Music by John Adams
Libretto by Alice Goodman
Peter Sellars, director
Mark Morris, choreography
Adrianne Lobel, set design
Dunya Ramicova, costume design
James F. Ingalls, lighting design

FIRST RECORDING
Produced by Wilhelm Hellweg
Recorded December 1987 at RCA Studio A, New York City
Balance Engineer: John Newton
Assistant Recording Engineer / Tape Editor: Henk Kooistra
Mixed January 1988 at Soundmirror, Jamaica Plain, MA
Production Assistant: Jennifer Keats

Executive Producer: Robert Hurwitz

Nonesuch Selection Number

971048

Number of Discs in Set
1disc
Album Status
Artist Name
John Adams
MusicianDetails

MUSICIANS
Cast (in order of appearance):
Chou En-Lai: Sanford Sylvan
Richard Nixon: James Maddalena
Henry Kissinger: Thomas Hammons
Nancy T’ang (First Secretary to Mao): Mari Opatz
Second Secretary to Mao: Stephanie Friedman
Third Secretary to Mao: Marion Dry
Mao Tse-Tung: John Duykers
Pat Nixon: Carolann Page
Chiang Ch’in (Madame Mao Tse-Tung): Trudy Ellen Craney

Orchestra of St. Luke’s
Edo de Waart, conductor
Michael Feldman, artistic director
Louise Schulman, associate music director
Howard Jang, production manager
Violin: Mayuki Fukuhara, Amy Hiraga, Mineko Yajima, Anca Nicolau
Viola: Louise Schulman, Jennie Hansen, Stephanie Fricker
Cello: Maxine Neuman, co-principal; Myron Lutzke, Rosalyn Clarke, Karl Bennion
Bass: John T. Kulowitsch, John Feeney
Flute/Piccolo: Timothy Malosh, Sheryl Henze
Oboe: Stephen Taylor
Oboe / English Horn: Melanie Feld
Clarinet / E-Flat Clarinet: William Blount
Clarinet / Bass Clarinet: David Stanton, Gerhardt Koch
Saxophone: Lawrence Feldman, Ted Nash, Albert Regni, Roger Rosenberg
Trumpet: Chris Gekker, Carl Albach, Susan Radcliffe
Trombone: Michael Powell, Kenneth Finn, John Rojak
Percussion: Randall Maz
Yamaha HX-1 Synthesizer: John McGinn
Piano: Edmund Niemann, Martin Goldray

Chorus
Conoley E. Ballard Jr., chorus master
Jacqueline Pierce, chorus contractor
Soprano: Judy Berry, Sharon Daniels, Karen Grahn, Dana Hancard, Lorraine Kelley, Michele McBride
Alto: Patty Davis, Jay Ann Lee, Karen Leigh, Mary Runyan Marathe, Ruth Porter, Barbara Rearick
Tenor: James Bassi, Rodne Brown, Mukund Marathe, Edgar Moore, Martin Pierce
Bass: Roger Andrews, Christopher Arneson, Frank Curtis, Leslie Dorsey, Joseph Shockler, Todd Thomas

Cover Art
UPC/Price
Label
MP3
Price
9.00
UPC
603497104864
  • 971048

News & Reviews

  • The Metropolitan Opera has announced its 2024–25 season, including the Met premiere of John Adams's latest opera, Antony and Cleopatra, on May 12, 2025. The adaptation of Shakespeare’s drama stars soprano Julia Bullock, following her company debut in Adams’s El Niño this April, as Cleopatra, opposite bass-baritone Gerald Finley’s Antony. Adams himself conducts a new staging by director Elkhanah Pulitzer, who transports the story from ancient Rome to the Golden Age of Hollywood in the 1930s. Performances run through June 7, 2025. 

  • “In many ways, John Adams is the quintessential California composer,” Nadia Sirota writes in the introduction to Adams’ audio interview with the California Festival, a statewide initiative showcasing contemporary classical music, including live performances at venues across the state over the past three weeks. Adams, a resident of Northern California since moving there from New England in 1971, talks about his early days in the area and the inspiration behind some of his most influential early works, like Christian Zeal and Activity, Phrygian Gates, Shaker Loops, and Harmonielehre. You can hear what he has to say here.

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  • About This Album

    Adams describes this landmark work as “part epic, part satire, part parody of political posturing, and part serious examination of historical, philosophical, and even gender issues.” The Boston Globe called it “a milestone in American operatic history.” This collection contains highlights from the Grammy-winning 1987 recording.

    Credits

    MUSICIANS
    Cast (in order of appearance):
    Chou En-Lai: Sanford Sylvan
    Richard Nixon: James Maddalena
    Henry Kissinger: Thomas Hammons
    Nancy T’ang (First Secretary to Mao): Mari Opatz
    Second Secretary to Mao: Stephanie Friedman
    Third Secretary to Mao: Marion Dry
    Mao Tse-Tung: John Duykers
    Pat Nixon: Carolann Page
    Chiang Ch’in (Madame Mao Tse-Tung): Trudy Ellen Craney

    Orchestra of St. Luke’s
    Edo de Waart, conductor
    Michael Feldman, artistic director
    Louise Schulman, associate music director
    Howard Jang, production manager
    Violin: Mayuki Fukuhara, Amy Hiraga, Mineko Yajima, Anca Nicolau
    Viola: Louise Schulman, Jennie Hansen, Stephanie Fricker
    Cello: Maxine Neuman, co-principal; Myron Lutzke, Rosalyn Clarke, Karl Bennion
    Bass: John T. Kulowitsch, John Feeney
    Flute/Piccolo: Timothy Malosh, Sheryl Henze
    Oboe: Stephen Taylor
    Oboe / English Horn: Melanie Feld
    Clarinet / E-Flat Clarinet: William Blount
    Clarinet / Bass Clarinet: David Stanton, Gerhardt Koch
    Saxophone: Lawrence Feldman, Ted Nash, Albert Regni, Roger Rosenberg
    Trumpet: Chris Gekker, Carl Albach, Susan Radcliffe
    Trombone: Michael Powell, Kenneth Finn, John Rojak
    Percussion: Randall Maz
    Yamaha HX-1 Synthesizer: John McGinn
    Piano: Edmund Niemann, Martin Goldray

    Chorus
    Conoley E. Ballard Jr., chorus master
    Jacqueline Pierce, chorus contractor
    Soprano: Judy Berry, Sharon Daniels, Karen Grahn, Dana Hancard, Lorraine Kelley, Michele McBride
    Alto: Patty Davis, Jay Ann Lee, Karen Leigh, Mary Runyan Marathe, Ruth Porter, Barbara Rearick
    Tenor: James Bassi, Rodne Brown, Mukund Marathe, Edgar Moore, Martin Pierce
    Bass: Roger Andrews, Christopher Arneson, Frank Curtis, Leslie Dorsey, Joseph Shockler, Todd Thomas

    PRODUCTION CREDITS
    The premiere performances of Nixon in China took place at the Houston Grand Opera (October 22–November 7, 1987), the Brooklyn Academy of Music (December 4–17, 1987), The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (March 26–April 5, 1988), and The Netherlands Opera (June 2–18, 1988).
    Music by John Adams
    Libretto by Alice Goodman
    Peter Sellars, director
    Mark Morris, choreography
    Adrianne Lobel, set design
    Dunya Ramicova, costume design
    James F. Ingalls, lighting design

    FIRST RECORDING
    Produced by Wilhelm Hellweg
    Recorded December 1987 at RCA Studio A, New York City
    Balance Engineer: John Newton
    Assistant Recording Engineer / Tape Editor: Henk Kooistra
    Mixed January 1988 at Soundmirror, Jamaica Plain, MA
    Production Assistant: Jennifer Keats

    Executive Producer: Robert Hurwitz

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