I am extremely proud of what we accomplished with the opening of Nixon in China yesterday afternoon. Not only did we introduce one of the true operatic masterpieces of the 20th century into the COC repertoire, but with mastering the difficulties of John Adams' score, our orchestra and chorus also set a new milestone of artistic achievement for the company. A huge credit needs to go to our conductor Pablo Heras-Casado for his inspiring and flawless leadership. I am proud that he made his North American operatic debut with the COC.
As a special guest we had the great historian Margaret McMillan in the audience. Even though her book Nixon in China: The Week That Changed the World was written almost twenty years after the opera, it provides a fascinating insight into its protagonists.
There remains the question of what the third act of Nixon in China really is about. I have my ideas, but since there was a lot of discussion after the performance yesterday, I would welcome your thoughts once you have seen our production.
Posted by Alexander Neef / in Season / comments (4) / permalink
Please let me share with you how much I enjoy our rehearsals for Nixon in China. I'm just sitting in the second stage and orchestra rehearsal at the Four Seasons Centre and just can't believe how beautiful the piece sounds in our space with full orchestra. John Adams' score is so rich, colourful and surprising, with great momentum at all times, but also great tenderness und lyricism. Memories of Wagner (Die Walküre and Götterdämmerung), Strauss (Salome), Lehar (Das Land des Lächelns), Duke Ellington (Such Sweet Thunder) and a lot of popular dance music. And these are only my personal references. You will find your own when you come to see our production. It's an endlessly fascinating piece. I'm proud and glad we're doing it.
Posted by Alexander Neef / in Season / comments (0) / permalink
Yesterday's dress rehearsal of The Magic Flute was one of my most remarkable moments at the COC so far. As always, our dress rehearsal audience was mostly composed of students and their cheers at the end made the Four Seasons Centre feel like a stadium. It would be fair to say that by now our production has been successfully tried on children of all ages, starting with my three and a half year old daughter. The production opens on Saturday and runs until February 25.
Bring your kids!
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