Nixon in China

by John Adams
Opera in three acts
Libretto by Alice Goodman
in English
Besides the landing on the moon by the Apollo 11 mission in 1969, Richard Nixon’s meeting with China’s leader Mao Zedong in February 1972 then represented one of the biggest media spectacles in history. Nixon himself established the reference between the two events: „We came in peace for all mankind“ not only marked the lunar module Eagle’s landing spot – Nixon also spoke of it into the microphones just before his departure to China. It was not John Adam’s aim to create a superficial or even a caricaturing representation of Nixon’s visit when composing his opera. He attempted to create a „heroic opera“ about the construction of modern myths by using archetypical characters and situations. Director Marco Štorman stages Adam’s minimal music opera as a deconstruction review about the power of images, the politics of (self) staging and the staging of politics. “One of the most intelligent productions currently to be seen on opera stages”, (Bernd Künzig, SWR2)

Act I: approx. 65 min
Intermission: approx. 25 min
Act II: approx. 50 min
Intermission: approx. 35 min
Act III: approx. 35 min
World premiere
1987 in Houston

This production's premiere

Back on stage
13 January 2021

Recommended age
from grade 10