Lisa and I just saw a performance of Nixon in China by the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto: Amazing! The performance as a whole was very strong, with the stand out moments being:
- Madame Mao’s Aria at the end of the 2nd act – Marisol Montalvo’s performance was stunning, and I think for me the most enraptured moment of the night
- The ensemble singing of the 3rd act – stunning precision and clarity by Madame Mao’s and Pat Nixon’s characters
- Pat Nixon’s scenes in the 2nd act – Maria Kanyova performed it beautifully in singing and acting, a wonderful scene
- Chou En-Lai’s aria in the 3rd act – Chen Ye-Yuan‘s singing was impressive throughout, with this precious meditation being extremely memorable
I really loved the staging of this opera with its period footage from Nixon’s visit via the use of televisions, the lighting, costumes, etc. It really reminded me of the many wonderful productions of operas I saw in San Francisco during Pamela Rosenberg’s tenure there. Just perfect.
This was our first time attending a performance at the Four Seasons Centre and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I loved the hall’s design throughout, and really enjoyed the intimacy of the smaller stage and hall. I will be looking forward to the next time I have a chance to attend a performance here!
I have only recently heard “Nixon in China” for the first time, and I must say I enjoy it enormously. Some of the same scenes you describe – the Pat Nixon pieces at the beginning of Act II, and the Chou En-Lai aria that finishes the opera. Destined to become a classic, I think!