Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Nixon In China via Cincy

I’ve been incredibly lazy in my lackluster support for local performances recently, perhaps due to a little burnout from the long performance season that finished for me in late May. But now I’m pretty excited about Cincinnati Opera’s production of Nixon in China! This important opera was written by renowned American composer John Adams in 1987 and focuses on President Richard Nixon’s diplomatic mission to China in 1972.

Surely Cincinnati will be the cultural beacon for the mid-Atlantic area on the two performance dates of July 12 and 14. This is a rare chance to see a large contemporary concert music phenomenon in the Cincinnati area. (You would usually need to travel to places like New York, Chicago, or London to see something like this.) If you are close to the city and available to attend I would urge you to go see it, especially if you are a history/politics junkie. I’m probably going to see it on Thursday evening. If you have problems with opera because you often can’t understand what the characters are saying, there will be projected titles even though the opera is in English.

The music is poly-stylistic and incorporates plenty of popular music genres in its unique vocabulary. John Adams’ musical language has a rather Romantic sensibility that is well balanced with more challenging harmonies and textures. The  stage production by James Robinson features multi-media techniques and choreography by Seán Curran.

Tickets available here.

Photo from the White House Photo Office (1969-74) Source: archives.gov (ARC Identifier:194759)