Nixon in Vancouver: A Triumphant Visit

Posted by Vancouver Opera On 11:22 AM

At the end of the last act of John Adams’s opera Nixon in China, the character Chou En-lai asks: “How much of what we did was good?” We may not be able to answer that question as it refers to the political events in the opera. But ask it of this particular production of Nixon in China, by Vancouver Opera, and it’s easily answered. What you did was good, very good indeed.

Nixon in China, which takes as its point of departure Nixon’s groundbreaking visit in 1972, has been a long time coming to Canada. Pierre Trudeau may have gotten to China a year earlier than Nixon did, but Adams’s opera, which premiered in 1987 at Houston Grand Opera, has never been this far north before. This production, conducted by John DeMain (who also conducted the world premiere in Houston), and directed by Michael Cavanagh, is new. Planned during the recession, it was a financial stretch for Vancouver Opera. It is also a stunning production.

To read the rest of the Globe & Mail review, click here.

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