Adams, J: Nixon in China

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Adams, J: Nixon in China



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Release date:

28th Sept 2009




2 hours 33 minutes


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Adams, J: Nixon in China

Robert Orth, Maria Kanyova, Thomas Hammons, Marc Heller, Tracy Dahl, Chen-Ye Yuan, Melissa Malde, Julie Simson & Jennifer DeDominici

Colorado Symphony Orchestra & Opera Colorado Chorus, Marin Alsop

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A longtime collaborator of John Adams and champion of his music, Marin Alsop directs this live recording of Opera Colorado’s 25th Anniversary Celebration production of Nixon in China, presented at Denver’s new Ellie Caulkins Opera House during the 2008 National Performing Arts Convention, and featuring an internationally recognized cast.

Alice Goodman’s epic libretto and John Adams’s distinctive music weave together a colourful fabric of actual events from President Nixon’s historic visit to the People’s Republic of China with intimate examinations of the opera’s real life characters.

The spectacle, drama, humor and pathos of this masterpiece remain as compelling today as when the opera was premièred in 1987.

“[The] performance, brilliantly conducted by Marin Alsop and delivered by a strong cast led by baritone Robert Orth in the title role… Alsop, a proven master of Adams’ style both early and late, led a dynamic performance… Conducting the Colorado Symphony, she shepherded her forces nimbly.” San Francisco Chronicle concert review

John Adams: Nixon in China

Act I Scene 1: Beginning

Act I Scene 1: Soldiers of heaven hold the sky (Chorus)

Act I Scene 1: The people are the heroes now (Chorus)

Act I Scene 1: Landing of the Spirit of '76

Act I Scene 1: Your flight was smooth, I hope? (Chou, Nixon)

Act I Scene 1: News has a kind of mystery (Nixon, Chou, Kissinger, Chorus)

Act I Scene 2: Beginning - I can't talk very well. My throat… (Mao, Nixon, Chou, Kissinger, 3 Secretaries)

Act I Scene 2: You know we'll meet with your confrere, the Democratic candidate (Mao, Nixon, Kissinger)

Act I Scene 2: You've said that there's a certain well-known tree (Chou, Nixon, Mao, Kissinger, 3 Secretaries)

Act I Scene 2: Founders come first, then profiteers (Mao, 3 Secretaries, Nixon, Chou, Kissinger)

Act I Scene 2: We no longer need Confucius (Mao, 3 Secretaries)

Act I Scene 2: Like the Ming Tombs (Nixon, 3 Secretaries, Mao, Chou)

Act I Scene 3: Beginning - The night is young (Nixon, Pat, Chou, Kissinger, Chorus)

Act I Scene 3: Ladies and Gentlemen, Comrades and Friends (Chou, Chorus, Pat, Kissinger)

Act I Scene 3: Mr. Premier, distinguished guests (Nixon, Chorus)

Act I Scene 3: Cheers! (Chorus, Nixon, Chou, Pat, Kissinger)

Act II Scene 1: Beginning - I don't daydream and don't look back (Pat)

Act II Scene 1: Look down at the earth (Chorus, Pat, 3 Secretaries)

Act II Scene 1: This is prophetic! (Pat)

Act II Scene 1: At last the weather's warming up (Pat, Chorus)

Act II Scene 2: Beginning - Young as we are (3 Secretaries)

Act II Scene 2: O what a day I thought I'd die! (Kissinger as Lao Szu, Chorus as Ching-hua, 3 Secretaries, Pat)

Act II Scene 2: Whip her to death! (Kissinger as Lao Szu, Pat, Nixon)

Act II Scene 2: Tropical Storm: There there, there there (Pat)

Act II Scene 2: Flesh Rebels (Chorus as Militia)

Act II Scene 2: I have my brief (Kissinger as Lao Szu, Nixon)

Act II Scene 2: It seems so strange (Chorus as Ching-hua, Chiang Ch'ing, Pat, Nixon, 3 Secretaries)

Act II Scene 2: I am the wife of Mao Tse-tung (Chiang Ch'ing, Chorus)

Act III: Beginning

Act III: Some men you cannot satisfy (Kissinger, Nixon, Pat, Chou, Chiang Ch'ing)

Act III: I am no one (Mao, Chou, Kissinger, Chiang Ch'ing, Pat)

Act III: The Maos Dance (Chiang Ch'ing, Mao, Pat, Nixon, Chou)

Act III: Sitting around the radio (Nixon, Pat)

Act III: Let us examine what you did (Mao, Chiang Ch'ing, Chou)

Act III: When I woke up I dimly realized the Jap Bombers had given us a miss (Nixon, Pat)

Act III: I have no offspring (Chou, Mao, Chiang Ch'ing)

Act III: I can keep still (Chiang Ch'ing)

Act III: After that the sweat had soaked my uniform (Nixon, Pat, Chiang Ch'ing, Mao, Chou)

Act III: Peking watches the stars (Chiang Ch'ing, Mao)

Act III: You won at poker (Pat, Nixon, Chiang Ch'ing, Mao)

Act III: I am old and I cannot sleep (Chou)

BBC Music Magazine

December 2009

“…Alsop balances rhythmic drive with careful pointers to Adams's later, more lyrical achievements… Robert Orth gives a remarkable sung impression of the president's speaking voice… Tracy Dahl (Madame Mao) and Maria Kanyova (Pat) comfortably outshine their boyish predecessors.”

Andrew Mellor

21st December 2009

“Marin Alsop might not topple de Waart off his default top-spot, but she does provide a strikingly different performance that forms a worthy counterpoint to you hear the machinery of Adams’s writing: bright, alert, lucid, occasionally thin, but brilliantly textured.”

Gramophone Magazine

December 2009

“…Marin Alsop is the persuasive conductor of this live recording from Opera Colorado's 2008 production. Robert Orth is powerful yet detailed in the title-role, and Maria Kanyova sings the neurotic Pat Nixon with great intensity. Tracy Dahl is strong in Madame Mao's coloratura, and there are good performances from Thomas Hammons (Kissinger) and Marc Heller (Mao Tse-tung)...”

Penguin Guide

2011 edition

“Alsop has this music in her very being, and her version is cast from strength. Robert Orth is a strong Nixon and his wife Pat is intensely and sympathetically characterized by Maria Kanyova. But Tracy Dahl steals the shows in her sympathetic portrayal of Madame Mao, particularly in the coloratura of the closing Act. An unforgettable set.”

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