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Preview of John Adams' Nixon in China

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

7:00 PM

WQXR will host a special preview of the Metropolitan Opera's staging of John Adams' iconic Nixon in China. The event will feature a discussion with Adams about his most famous opera, as well as performances of key arias by several of the leads in the Met production. WQXR's Terrance McKnight will moderate the conversation in which Adams with stage director and longtime collaborator Peter Sellars offer insights into the ways Nixon in China explores human truths beyond the headlines and history books.

James Maddalena, who originated the role of Nixon in 1987, will sing his "News Aria" (which Adams has listed as one of his all-time favorites among his compositions). Kathleen Kim will sing Madame Mao's "I Am the Wife of Mao Tse-tung," while Russell Braun, as the voice of Chinese premier Chou En-lai', will sing "I Am Old and Cannot Sleep."

Nixon in China is receiving its Met premiere with the February 2-19 production, which will be seen live in HD in movie theaters around the world on February 12. The opera chronicles President Richard Nixon’s historic 1972 visit to Chairman Mao Tse-tung's Red China, a carefully managed international media event. Adams and librettist Alice Goodman created a brilliant fusion of public and private expression, exploring issues of political power, public showmanship and cultural tension alongside the personal doubt, vulnerability and loneliness these ambitions incite.


John Adams, Russell Braun, Kathleen Kim, James Maddalena and Peter Sellars

Hosted by:

Terrance McKnight