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Chou En Lai
Nixon in China
San Francisco Opera
San Francisco, CA
Chen-Ye Yuan: Chou En Lai
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 under the leadership of David Gockley, this modern masterpiece makes its long-awaited Bay Area stage premiere. Michael Cavanagh’s “brilliantly effective” staging (Vancouver Sun) will feature Brian Mulligan, whose rich baritone thrilled audiences in San Francisco Opera’s Faust (2010) andWerther (2010), in the title role. Lawrence Renes, whose conducting of Adams’ Doctor Atomic won praise from London critics, will lead the orchestra. “What commands attention in the Nixon score is, quite simply, melody” (The New York Times).
This year marks the 40th anniversary of Nixon’s trip to China. Read an article by Kissinger adviser Winston Lord and journalist Leslie H. Gelb in The Daily Beast about this historic breakthrough event.