Nixon in China

More info on Nixon in China

Composer:

John Coolidge Adams

Librettist:

Alice Goodman

Premiere:

22nd october 1987, Houston (Brown Theater, Wortham

Language:

English

Synopsis:

Nixon in China Synopsis

Libretto:

Nixon in China Libretto

Translation(s):

Not entered yet.

About the opera Nixon in China

Nixon in China is an opera in three acts by John Adams, with a libretto by Alice Goodman. Adams' first opera, it was inspired by the 1972 visit to China by US President Richard Nixon. The work premiered at the Houston Grand Opera on October 22, 1987, in a production by Peter Sellars with choreography by Mark Morris. When Sellars approached Adams with the idea for the opera in 1985, Adams was initially reluctant, but eventually decided that the work could be a study in how myths come to be, and accepted the project. Goodman's libretto was the result of considerable research into Nixon's visit, though she disregarded most sources published after 1972.
To create the sounds he sought, Adams augmented the orchestra with a large saxophone section, additional percussion, and electronic synthesizer. Although sometimes described as "minimalist", the score displays a variety of musical styles, embracing minimalism after the manner of Philip Glass alongside passages echoing 19th century composers such as Wagner and Johann Strauss. With these ingredients, Adams mixes Stravinskian 20th century neoclassicism, jazz references, and big band sounds reminiscent of Nixon's youth in the 1930s. The combination of these elements varies frequently, to reflect changes in the onstage action.

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Roles in Nixon in China

Richard Nixon Baritone
Pat Nixon Soprano
Chou En-lai Baritone
Mao Tse-tung Tenor
Henry Kissinger Bass
Chiang Ch'ing Soprano
First secretary to Mao Mezzo-Soprano
Second secretary to Mao Contralto

More details roles



All scenes from Nixon in China

Arias from Nixon in China

Nr.Title scenePopularityOperaComposerActTypeVoicesLang.Roles
1Soldiers of heaven hold the sky

Opera: Nixon in ChinaComposer: AdamsAct: 1.01

Type: choirVoice: n/aLanguage: English

Roles:
2Your flight was smooth

Opera: Nixon in ChinaComposer: AdamsAct: 1.02

Type: recitativeVoice: Br BrLanguage: English

Roles: Chou/Nixon
3News has a kind of mystery

Opera: Nixon in ChinaComposer: AdamsAct: 1.03-1

Type: ariaVoice: baritoneLanguage: English

Roles: Nixon
4We live in an unsettled time

Opera: Nixon in ChinaComposer: AdamsAct: 1.03-2

Type: ariaVoice: baritoneLanguage: English

Roles: Nixon
5I can't talk very well

Opera: Nixon in ChinaComposer: AdamsAct: 1.04

Type: recitativeVoice: T Br BrLanguage: English

Roles: Mao/Nixon/Chou
6Ah! the philosopher I see

Opera: Nixon in ChinaComposer: AdamsAct: 1.05

Type: recitativeVoice: T Br B BrLanguage: English

Roles: Mao/Nixon/Kissinger/Chou
7You know we'll meet with confrere

Opera: Nixon in ChinaComposer: AdamsAct: 1.06

Type: recitativeVoice: T Br B BrLanguage: English

Roles: Mao/Nixon/Kissinger/Chou
8We no longer need Confucius

Opera: Nixon in ChinaComposer: AdamsAct: 1.07

Type: ariaVoice: tenorLanguage: English

Roles: Mao
9Like the Ming tombs

Opera: Nixon in ChinaComposer: AdamsAct: 1.08

Type: ariaVoice: baritoneLanguage: English

Roles: Nixon
10If we by chance escape her maw

Opera: Nixon in ChinaComposer: AdamsAct: 1.09

Type: recitativeVoice: T Br Br BLanguage: English

Roles: Mao/Nixon/Chou/Kissinger
11The night is young

Opera: Nixon in ChinaComposer: AdamsAct: 1.10

Type: recitativeVoice: Br S Br BLanguage: English

Roles: Nixon/Pat/Chou/Kissinger
12Ladies and gentlemen

Opera: Nixon in ChinaComposer: AdamsAct: 1.11

Type: ariaVoice: baritoneLanguage: English

Roles: Chou
13Mr. Premier distinguished guests

Opera: Nixon in ChinaComposer: AdamsAct: 1.12

Type: ariaVoice: baritoneLanguage: English

Roles: Nixon
14This is the hour

Opera: Nixon in ChinaComposer: AdamsAct: 1.13

Type: recitativeVoice: Br Br S BLanguage: English

Roles: Chou/Nixon/Pat/Kissinger
15I don't daydream and don't look back

Opera: Nixon in ChinaComposer: AdamsAct: 2.01

Type: ariaVoice: sopranoLanguage: English

Roles: Pat
16Look down at the earth

Opera: Nixon in ChinaComposer: AdamsAct: 2.02

Type: choirVoice: n/aLanguage: English

Roles:
17This is the People's Clinic

Opera: Nixon in ChinaComposer: AdamsAct: 2.03

Type: recitative,choirVoice: sopranoLanguage: English

Roles: Pat
18This is prophetic

Opera: Nixon in ChinaComposer: AdamsAct: 2.04

Type: ariaVoice: sopranoLanguage: English

Roles: Pat
19At last the weather's warming-up

Opera: Nixon in ChinaComposer: AdamsAct: 2.05

Type: recitative,choirVoice: sopranoLanguage: English

Roles: Pat
20Young as we are

Opera: Nixon in ChinaComposer: AdamsAct: 2.06

Type: trioVoice: cA cA cALanguage: English

Roles:
21Oh! what a day

Opera: Nixon in ChinaComposer: AdamsAct: 2.07

Type: ariaVoice: bassLanguage: English

Roles: Kissinger
22How thin you are

Opera: Nixon in ChinaComposer: AdamsAct: 2.08

Type: choirVoice: n/aLanguage: English

Roles:
23Whip her to death

Opera: Nixon in ChinaComposer: AdamsAct: 2.09

Type: recitativeVoice: B S BrLanguage: English

Roles: Kissinger/Pat/Nixon
24Flesh rebels

Opera: Nixon in ChinaComposer: AdamsAct: 2.10

Type: choirVoice: n/aLanguage: English

Roles:
25I have my brief

Opera: Nixon in ChinaComposer: AdamsAct: 2.11

Type: ariaVoice: bassLanguage: English

Roles: Kissinger
26It seems so strange

Opera: Nixon in ChinaComposer: AdamsAct: 2.12

Type: recitativeVoice: sopranoLanguage: English

Roles: Chiang
27I am the wife of Mao

Opera: Nixon in ChinaComposer: AdamsAct: 2.13

Type: ariaVoice: sopranoLanguage: English

Roles: Chiang
28Some men you cannot satisfy

Opera: Nixon in ChinaComposer: AdamsAct: 3.01

Type: recitativeVoice: B Br S Br S TLanguage: English

Roles: Kissinger/Nixon/Pat/Chou/Chiang/Mao
29I am old and cannot sleep

Opera: Nixon in ChinaComposer: AdamsAct: 3.02

Type: ariaVoice: baritoneLanguage: English

Roles: Chou