John Adams's Nixon in China
Valentina Carrasco (stage director), Gustavo Dudamel (conductor) — With Thomas Hampson (Richard Nixon), Renée Fleming (Pat Nixon), Xiaomeng Zhang (Zhou Enlai), John Matthew Myers (Mao Zedong)...
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Valentina Carrasco — Stage director
Carles Berga — Set designer
Peter van Praet — Set designer, lighting designer
Silvia Aymonino — Costumes
Mark Grey — Sound Designer
Alice Goodman — Libretto
Thomas Hampson — Richard Nixon
Renée Fleming — Pat Nixon
Xiaomeng Zhang — Zhou Enlai
John Matthew Myers — Mao Zedong
Joshua Bloom — Henry Kissinger
Kathleen Kim — Chiang Ch'ing
Yajie Zhang — Nancy T'ang (First secretary to Mao)
Ning Liang — Second secretary to Mao
Emanuela Pascu — Third secretary to Mao
Paris Opera Chorus
Be there for an historic event at the Paris Opera: the company's first performance of John Adams's contemporary opera masterpiece, Nixon in China, conducted by Gustavo Dudamel and starring Renée Fleming and Thomas Hampson as the Nixons!
As its name indicates, this unique opera recounts the 1972 voyage of President Richard Nixon and First Lady Pat Nixon to China, a watershed moment in East-West diplomacy: Nixon was, at the height of the Cold War, the first American president to visit China, and the media's breathless coverage of the event, broadcast on TV to millions of homes, added to its symbolic import. And Adams's opera, written 15 years later in 1987, helped solidify the way it was remembered in American culture. Less widely known in Europe than in America (for now!), the opera makes its blockbuster entrance in the Paris Opera's repertoire with a dream cast, including superstars Fleming and Hampson as Pat and Richard Nixon—not to mention the excellent John Matthew Myers as Chairman Mao (a role he has already played to acclaim) and Xiaomeng Zhang as Chinese premier Zhou Enlai. With Dudamel at the podium and the gloriously imaginative Valentina Carrasco in charge of stage direction, this striking production goes a long way toward elevating this work to its rightful place in the worldwide canon of modern classics.
Photo © Elisa Haberer