Nixon In China Cast Announced

Posted by Vanopsmd On 1:13 PM

Vancouver Opera will present the Canadian première of John Adams’ opera Nixon in China in March, 2010 as part of its 50th anniversary season. Esteemed Toronto-based stage director Michael Cavanagh will direct a new VO production designed by the gifted American scenic designer Erhard Rom. For a Full Cast List Click Here

Nixon in China was written during the period 1985 to 1987 and is considered by many to be a modern masterpiece. Composed by John Adams to a libretto by poet and scholar Alice Goodman, the opera tells the story of U.S. President Richard Nixon’s momentous trip to China in 1972, when he met Communist Party Chairman Mao Zedong and opened the political door to the Far East.

The drama features four other major figures: First Lady Pat Nixon, National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger, Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai, and Chairman Mao’s wife, Madame Mao (Jiang Qing). Three “secretaries to Mao” and a large chorus, who play, variously, soldiers, peasants and Communist Party workers, complete the formidable singing forces.

In announcing the production, VO’s general director, James W. Wright, said,
“We are thrilled to be presenting the Canadian premiere of Nixon in China. This is an important work that deservedly holds a place alongside the greatest operas of the 20th century. I believe that Vancouver audiences of all ages and all levels of opera-going experience will appreciate this work and connect with it on many levels. Adams’ modern score for 55 players holds great emotional power and will move audiences deeply. The libretto is poetic, richly evocative of the period, and revealing of the characters’ inner lives. In its fascinating character studies and in the drama of the story, Nixon in China holds profound cultural and political significance for Canadian audiences, and especially here in Vancouver, where the effects – and the symbolic significance – of Nixon’s historic visit continue to resonate.”

Vancouver Opera is assembling a superb creative team and singers. Casting confirmed for the production include baritone Robert Orth as Richard Nixon, soprano Sally Dibblee as Pat Nixon, and soprano Tracy Dahl as Madame Mao. Sally Dibblee and Tracy Dahl are well known to Canadian audiences. Robert Orth is a highly respected American singer whose vivid, detailed portrayal of Richard Nixon has been cheered in leading opera houses. Opera News, in describing a performance, said, "The supremely talented Robert Orth captured Nixon's high-strung, self-satisfied character with beautiful command of the physical and poetic language of the role…”

The cast to date includes:
Richard Nixon - Robert Orth

Mao Tse-tung - Alan Woodrow

Henry Kissinger - Thomas Hammons

Pat Nixon - Sally Dibblee

Chou En-lai - Chen-Ye Yuan

Chiang Ch'ing - Tracy Dahl

Nixon in China opens March 13, 2010 as part of the Cultural Olympiad of the 2010 Winter Olympics.

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