Broadcasts from the San Francisco Opera continue on Classical 90.5 at noon this Saturday, October 13, with a performance of Nixon in China by John Adams, set to a libretto by Alice Goodman. The performance will be sung in English and will run approximately three hours and fifteen minutes.
John Adams’ rhythmically rich re-creation of a presidential trip to Beijing has established itself as a great American opera, a work of “clarity, simplicity, shocking elegance” that “will be around for the long haul” (The New York Times). A quarter-century after premiering at Houston Grand Opera, this modern masterpiece made its long-awaited Bay Area stage premiere. Michael Cavanagh’s “brilliantly effective” staging (Vancouver Sun) featured Brian Mulligan, whose rich baritone thrilled audiences in San Francisco Opera’s Faust (2010) and Werther (2010), in the title roles. Lawrence Renes, whose conducting of Adams’ Doctor Atomic won praise from London critics, led the orchestra. “What commands attention in the Nixon score is, quite simply, melody” (The New York Times).
Please note that this production contains one instance of adult language and the sound of gunshots.
Richard Nixon: Brian Mulligan
Pat Nixon: Maria Kanyova
Mao Tse-tung: Simon O’Neill
Chiang Ch’ing (Madame Mao Tse-tung): Hye Jung Lee
Chou En-lai: Chen-Ye Yuan
Henry Kissinger: Patrick Carfizzi
Nancy T'ang: Ginger Costa-Jackson
Second Secretary: Buffy Baggott
Third Secretary: Nicole Birkland
Wu Ching-Hua: Chiharu Shibata
Hung Ch'ang-Ch'ing: Bryan Ketron