The opera Nixon in China recently had its Met premiere here in New York. I’ve been catching a bit of publicity on NPR and the Slate Culture Gabfest. The show is about Nixon’s 1972 visit to China and meeting with Mao that resulted in the opening of China.
This production has been praised by critics and combines elements I cannot conceive of sharing a stage: Nixon, Chairman Mao and their wives as protagonists, a Philip Glass-influenced score, outsize set pieces (including Air Force One), and a Communist ballet choreographed by Mark Morris.
Which brings me to Jacob’s Pillow. The Mark Morris Dance Group will be celebrating their 30th anniversary with a weekend long program of pieces at the Ted Shawn Theatre in August. I suspect tickets will go fast.
But let’s go back to the opera for just a moment, and the Nixons as protagonists. Can you imagine Pat singing (gloriously, no doubt) about her poor childhood, cocktail in hand? I’m not kidding around here, this show is not a satire. In fact, it’s nearly four hours long.
Jacob’s Pillow ticket information here.
Metropolitan Opera ticket information here.