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The Sunday Opera: John Adams' "Nixon in China" from the Paris Opera

We’re back at the Paris Opera at the Opera Bastille for this week’s Sunday Opera (7/16 3:00 p.m.) with a bit of historical drama from the pen of composer John Adams and librettist Alice Goodman, “Nixon in China.”

The opera documents the first time an American President traveled to China and his meetings with Chairman Mao and Zhou Enlai. It also follows Pat Nixon on her travels around the capital city and chronicles her thoughts and reactions to this world that is alien to her.

The stellar cast includes Thomas Hampson as Nixon, Renee Fleming as Pat Nixon, John Matthew Meyers as Mao Zedong, Xiaomeng Zhang as Zhou Enlai, Kathleen Kim as Madam Mao, and Joshua Bloom as Henry Kissinger. Gustavo Dudamel leads the Paris Opera Chorus and Orchestra.

We’ll change things up after the opera with an afternoon of “romantic” symphony music, Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No. 4 in E flat major. Dubbed “Romantic” by the composer, the symphony was written in 1874 and revised several times through 1888. We’ve turned to a recording made by The Royal Scottish National Orchestra, with George Tintner conducting for this wonderful work that is said to be Bruckner’s best known symphony.

Michael is program host and host of the WWFM Sunday Opera, Sundays at 3 pm, and co-host of The Dress Circle, Sundays at 7 pm.
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