Midlands’ audiences will have an opportunity to escape local and national politics for a few hours, and immerse themselves in some historic global politics when the dramatic spectacle and haunting beauty of John Adams’ great opera Nixon in China, comes live by satellite from the Metropolitan Opera in New York to the IMC Athlone on Saturday February 12 at 6pm.
This will be the first time Irish audiences will have an opportunity to see this great classic of twentieth century opera, loved for its rhythmic, colourful music, as well as its wry take on politics and political leaders.
Based on the famous 1972 visit to Beijing of pre-Watergate president Richard Nixon and his meeting with Chairman Mao Tse Tung, the opera centres on the meeting of the very different personalities at the core of the historic ice-breaking moment between the politically opposed East and West, communism and capitalism. Chou-en Lai and Henry Kissinger, and Pat Nixon and Madame Mao along with the two leaders are the main characters – each with their own take on things, shown through the many private interactions as well as the great public set pieces.
The production is directed by the great Peter Sellars, and this historic performance will be conducted by the composer John Adams. James Maddalena stars as the flawed American president in a role he has made his own, and the cast also includes Kathleen Kim, Janis Kelly, Robert Brubaker, Russell Braun, and Richard Paul Fink.
This is the sixth of the 12 live opera transmissions in the 2010/11 Met Live in HD season, brought to Ireland by Opera Ireland in association with RTE Lyric FM and the Sunday Times.