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Nixon In China Arrives At the Met -February Opera News Magazine

 The February issue of Opera News features the smiling face and bizarre haircut of controversial opera and stage director Peter Sellars , who is responsible for the staging of the Met's new production of John Adams' acclaimed 1987 opera Nixon In China, currently being performed there with the composer conducting .
  That's right - an opera about Richard Nixon's historical visit to China in 1972 along with Henry Kissinger .  Writer William R. Braun has a fascinating interview with Sellars ,discussing the opera and Sellars' other controversial opera productions . Freelance cultural writer Ray Sawhill discusses
the complex public image of the late President Nixon and the various films about him, as well as Adam's opera.

   Washington Post cultural critic Philip Kennicott has a very interesting article on Paul Hindemith's strange operaitc masterpiece Cardillac, about an insane Parisian goldsmith and jeweller who murders his clients because he cannot bear to part with his creations.  This rarely performed opera is about to be performed by Opera Boston this month.

  Freelance writer Patrick Dillon discusses how French composer Jules Massenet (1842-1912) was inspired by such great singers as Feodor Chaliapin and Mary Garden to write some of his elegant operas such as Don Quichotte and others.

  There is the usual coverage of the operas being broadcast on the radio by the Met ,such as Nixon In China, Verdi's Simon Boccanegra, Don Pasquale and Gluck'sphigenie En Tauride as well as brief biographical sketches of many of this months singers and conductors . There are reviews of recent performances from London's Royal Opera, the Paris Opera, Vienna State Opera ,Zurich Opera and Geneva, as well as the Met, Chicago and San Francisco operas ,including the Met's new Don Carlo and Hindemith's Mathis Der Maler in Paris .

  There are reviews of new CDs such as a live Parsifal from the Mariinsky theater in St.Petersburg cndcted by Valery Gergiev , a live Peter Grimes from the Glyndebourne festival in England, and a new Naxos recording of a true rarity ,the opera Lw Deserteur by the obscure 18th century French composer Pierre-Alexandre Monsigny .

   There are also reviews of live opera performances on DVD of Bizet's Carmen from Paris conducted by Sir John Eliot Gardiner using 19th century period instruments , The Red Line by the contemporary Finnish composer Aulis Sallinen from Helsinki ,and Little Women by the contemporary Amercan composer Mark Adamo, based on the classic novel of the same name from Houston.

  No one who enjoys opera can afford to miss Opera News magazine, and it's also highly recommended for those who are new to opera or curious to learn more about it.
Posted: Feb 14 2011, 08:46 AM by the horn | with no comments
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