Saturday, February 12, 2011

Nixon in China - Met Opera HD Broadcast

I went to the Met premier performance of John Adams Nixon in China this morning. I was a bit hesitant. I like some, but not all of John Adams' music. Two years ago the Met broadcast his second opera, Doctor Atomic. I didn't like it at all and couldn't listen to it. I turned off the radio and busied myself with something else. I have heard pieces of this opera and liked most of it, so I decided that I would go see this broadcast of his first opera, Nixon, which was the Met premier performance. John Adams was the conductor of this performance and Peter Sellers, the original director of the opera, was the stage director for this Met performance. I love the HD theater broadcasts because of the "extras" like interviews and the back stage camera showing the scene changes during the intermissions.

I very much liked the first two acts, but I could have done without the last act. The innocuous description of the act does not prepare one for the sexual perversion depicted on the stage by Mao and his secretary and his wife. Listening only to that act would not have helped much since Madam Mao screeches the "F bomb" near the beginning of the act and everything disintegrates from there.

Oh, well. I know what to avoid now.

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