"Too good, too beautiful, too necessary," New York Times
One of the most celebrated operas of our generation, Nixon in China is an ambitious work on a grand scale, an iconic piece of operatic writing. Combining pulsating energy and soaring lyricism, with influences from big band to Wagner, it relates a compelling story of the historic meeting of two of the 20th century's most titanic and controversial figures - Richard Nixon and Mao Zedong.
Set in February 1972, Nixon in China opens on the runway of a chilly Peking (Beijing) airfield and the arrival of President and Mrs Nixon in Air Force One. It was the first time a US president had visited the People’s Republic of China, and by the end of the visit, decades of enmity between the two countries had been shelved and the world was realigned in the process.
At its Metropolitan Opera debut in 1987, Nixon in China was dubbed ‘provocative, edgy, and audacious’. Nearly 30 years later, it has become a modern masterpiece, admired for Alice Goodman’s poetically eloquent libretto and Adams’ magnificent score.
Auckland Arts Festival 2016’s Nixon in China season brings together a stunning cast and the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra under the baton of conductor Joseph Mechavich (USA), as well as an all-star creative team led by Sara Brodie (Don Giovanni). With a set designed by John Verryt, and video created by Louise Potiki-Bryant, this semi-staged production has all the might worthy of the history-making visit.
Presented by Auckland Arts Festival in association with Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and New Zealand Opera.