The winter edition of our book club is beginning soon, and for the second time this season we'll be reading a book with the same title as that of the opera it relates to. Margaret MacMillan's Nixon in China: The Week That Changed the World is an excellent way to get to know the story of what happened during that week in 1972 and understand what was at stake for Nixon, Mao, and the world.
How much of Alice Goodman's libretto is based in fact? Which of her lines were taken directly from statements by the real-life people who inspired the opera? How did Pat Nixon feel about the trip, and to what extent does the sadness her character expresses in the opera mirror the way she was actually feeling? Why was this trip important enough to be given the operatic treatment in the first place? If you're interested in Nixon in China as an opera, reading MacMillan's book along with us will deepen your understanding of it. Even better, Margaret MacMillan will be participating in the book club and answering your questions!
For my part, I dug partway into the book over the holidays. I hope you'll join us this January, both online and at the opera house!
Posted by Cecily Carver / in 2010/2011 / comments (2) / permalink
Sara Fulgoni in the COC production of Bluebeard's Castle. Photo: Michael Cooper © 2001