Ladies and gentlemen

Opera details:

Opera title:

Nixon in China


John Coolidge Adams




Nixon in China Synopsis


Nixon in China Libretto


Not entered yet.

Aria details:




Chou En-lai





Previous scene: The night is young
Next scene: Mr. Premier distinguished guests


Ladies and gentlemen,
comrades and friends, we have begun
to celebrate the different ways
that led us to this mountain pass,
this summit where we stand.
Look down and think what we have undergone.
Future and past lie far below half-visible.
We marvel now that we survived those battles,
took those shifting paths,
blasted that rock to lay those rails.
Through the cold night,
uncompromising lines of thought
attempted to find common ground
where their militias might contend,
confident that the day would come
for shadow-boxers to strike home.
We saw by the first light of dawn
the outlined cities of the plain,
and see them still, surrounded by
the pastures of their tenantry.
On land we have not taken yet
innumerable blades of wheat salute the sun.
Our children race downhill unflustered into peace.

We will not sow their fields with salt,
or burn their standing crop.
We built these terraces for them alone.
The virtuous American and the Chinese
make manifest their destinies in time.
We toast that endless province whose frontier
we occupy from hour to hour,
holding in perpetuity the ground our people
won today from vision to inheritance.
All patriots were brothers once:
let us drink to the time
when they shall be brothers again. Gam bei!

English Libretto or Translation:

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