Monday, January 31, 2011

Lunch this Wednesday with John Adams, Nixon & Mao!

I hope many of you will join me for an informal lunch-time discussion on the "modern classic" opera, Nixon in China. John Adams is the most celebrated opera composer alive. This Met premiere of Nixon (Adams' first opera, from 1987) is directed by Peter Sellars. The "maverick director" created the original production for Houston Grand Opera and has been called by Opera News the most "passionate advocate for classical music in the world today."

Adams music is vibrant and colorful, as contemporary as his subjects, yet firmly rooted in the operatic tradition. His stage works frequently elicit comparisons to Mozart, Verdi and Wagner. In the composer's own words, all of his operas "have dealt on deep psychological levels with our American mythology."

I will briefly discuss Adams and his music, and offer selections from some of the composer's operas, including Nixon in China. The informal lunch hour will conclude with a "Q & A" generated discussion.

Virginia Western hosts this week's discussion, and is the new home of exclusive Roanoke presentations of the Metropolitan Opera "Live in HD" broadcasts. More details on this "impromptu" presentation are below; I'll follow up with another piece on Nixon in China next week, in anticipation of the Met premiere of this great contemporary musical drama, LIVE in HD, Feb 12.

Location & other details:
Virginia Western Community College
Natural Science Center
February 2nd
12:00 noon-1 pm
(Bring a lunch; drinks will be provided)

Directions: On Colonial Avenue, turn onto Winding Way beside the Community Arboretum. At the top of the hill, turn left into the parking lot and the Natural Science Center is the first brick building on your left.

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