"Nixon in China" at the Metropolitan Opera

Monday, February 14, 2011

James Maddalena, who plays Richard Nixon, and Janis Kelly, who plays Pat Nixon, discuss the John Adams’ Grammy–winning opera “Nixon in China,” playing now at the Metropolitan Opera. Adams described the opera, about President Nixon’s 1972 visit to Mao Tse-tung in China, as “part epic, part satire, part parody of political posturing, and part serious examination of historical, philosophical, and even gender issues.”


Janis Kelly and James Maddalena

Comments [3]

ellen diamond from NYC

It's a pleasure to hear this program. My sister sang in the 1987 production and brought me over to CA to hear rehearsals. I fell asleep, not liking the music very much but when I actually saw the production at BAM, the music obviously had entered my unconscious ear and I remembered and quite liked it. It's was very "new" music for an opera, for me, but now I really love it. Not all art hits you the first time and sometimes, things that are relatively new take time.

Feb. 14 2011 01:26 PM
Steve S. from Washington Heights

Leonard, you said it runs through Friday, but I have a ticket for this Saturday! Don't tell me they canceled the show! Anyway, people might like to know they have a chance to go on Saturday, too. Not to nitpick or anything.

The Leonard Lopate Show responds:

Steve, you're absolutely right. There is a performance this Saturday.

Feb. 14 2011 01:08 PM from BOONTON, NJ

NIXON IN CHINA, defimitively conducted by the composer John Adams in today's [Feb. 12th, 2011] "Met" Opera radio broadcast evinced a sense of "somethin's coming" from the orchestra's very beginning, pulsating with a pedal point blanket of minimalism. The characters are sharply drawn, the vocal lines are symbiotic to the text's flow. If one is seeking plot or passionate love-making or ethos or essential political resolution, this is not your opera. CHARACTER revelation is the main ingredient. It is singable, but only in the cases of Mao and Mrs. Mao are there show-stopping arias. The opera's broadcast has just concluded. I am sure repeated hearings will add to its appreciation by its listeners. On Saturday, March 19th, I will perform a three hour solo concert, "Love as Expressed in All the Vocal Music Formats" at the New Life Expo at the New Yorker Hotel at 34th Street and 8th Avenue from 6 TO 9 PM at the Wall Street venue. Formats included in the concert are opera, operetta, Broadway musicals, "pop," folk, cowboy, jazz, Tin Pan Alley, sacred literature, waltzes, blues, lieder, and Spanish, Irish, Viennese and Neapolitan songs.
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Wagnerian heldentenor, opera composer: "Shakespeare" & "The Political Shakespeare" & director, the Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, where big-voiced singers are trained in the Wagner opera roles and professional actors are trained in all the Shakespeare roles.
Website: where one may download, FREE, 37 complete "Live from Carnegie Hall" selections that I have sung in four concerts, three of them three hours-long solo concerts and one a Joint Recital with the dramatic soprano Norma Jean Erdmann, in the main hall of Carnegie Hall, the Isaac Stern Auditorium, by opening up, downloading, from the "Recorded Selections" venue on the home page.

Feb. 12 2011 06:03 PM

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