ClassicsOnline Home » ADAMS, J.: Nixon in China (Orth, Kanyova, Hammons, Heller, Opera Colorado Chorus, Colorado Symphony, Alsop) > Review List

ADAMS, J.: Nixon in China (Orth, Kanyova, Hammons, Heller, Opera Colorado Chorus, Colorado Symphony, Alsop)

Composer(s):Adams, John
Period(s) Contemporary
Genre Classical Music
Category Opera
Catalogue 8.669022-24
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
Download and Stream

A longtime collaborator of John Adams and champion of his music, Marin Alsop directs this live recording of Opera Colorado’s 25th Anniversary Celebration production of Nixon in China, presented at Denver’s new Ellie Caulkins Opera House during the 2008 National Performing Arts Convention, and featuring an internationally recognized cast. Alice Goodman’s epic libretto and John Adams’s distinctive music weave together a colorful fabric of actual events from President Nixon’s historic visit to the People’s Republic of China with intimate examinations of the opera’s real life characters. The spectacle, drama, humor and pathos of this masterpiece remain as compelling today as when the opera was premièred in 1987.


Review By John Terauds,Toronto Star,February 2011

Robert Orth is one of four members of the principal cast of the Canadian Opera Company production of Nixon in China to be featured on a 3-CD box released by Naxos in 2009. The strong singing and exceptionally muscular and nuanced playing by the Colorado Symphony Orchestra under American star conductor Marin Alsop make for a richly satisfying listen.  The booklet includes the full libretto.

Review By Andrew Mellor ,Classic FM,December 2009

Alsop lets you hear the workings of the music…Adams’s score hasn’t dated a bit. It’s come up gleaming anew. And at budget price, Naxos’s Nixon  really is one for our times.

Review By John Fleming,St. Petersburg Times,November 2009

Album: Nixon in China (Naxos)

In stores: Now

Why we care: Finally, a new recording (only the second since the 1987 original) of Adams’ iconic opera in a three-CD release. The Opera Colorado production was recorded live in 2008, with Marin Alsop conducting the Colorado Symphony.

Why we like it: The opera (with Alice Goodman’s superb libretto) chronicles President Richard Nixon’s breakthrough journey to China in 1972. Robert Orth and Maria Kanyova are stellar as Richard and Pat Nixon, with Orth’s comic portrayal reflecting how feelings have mellowed toward Nixon. The star is the minimalist score, smartly conducted by Alsop.

Reminds us of: Philip Glass, Steve Reich


Review By James W. Wright,Vancouver Opera,November 2009

[In an article promoting Vancouver Opera’s production, General Director James W. Wright praised four of the soloists who also feature on Naxos’s recent recording.]

Robert [Orth] is a leading baritone with major opera companies including New York City, San Francisco, Chicago, Toronto, Washington, D.C., Houston, Seattle, and Los Angeles. He was named “Artist of the Year” by both New York City Opera and Seattle Opera. New York City Opera also gave him the Christopher Keene Award for new and unusual repertoire. He is, in my opinion, the world’s leading interpreter of Richard Nixon.



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