Classical Music

Classical Classroom, Ep 19 & 20: Nixon In China And John Adams With Michael Remson

Because nothing says “Happy Presidents Day” like minimalist opera.

 

Richard Nixon playing piano in Beverly Hills, Calif., 1962
Richard Nixon playing piano in Beverly Hills, Calif., 1962

In honor of Presidents Day, we are rerunning not one, but TWO very presidential episodes of Classical Classroom. Originally, our discussion with AFA’s ‎executive and artistic director Michael Remson was so epic — spanning John Adams’ entire Nixon in China opera — that we divided it into two episodes. For your listening pleasure, we’ve merged the two episodes into one here. So, go get some apple pie, your whittling tools, and a glass of whiskey (this is how we imagine you listen to all Classical Classroom episodes) and settle in.

In the first part of our conversation with composer, author, educator, and executive director of the American Festival for the Arts, Dr. Michael Remson, we cover Act 1 of Nixon in China:  world history, music history, and singing politicians. In Act 2, we meet the ladies. You don’t want to miss Mme. Mao yelling, opera-style.

Audio production by Todd “The Toddler” Hulslander, with management oversight by Mr. Torey Malatia. JK! It was Dacia Clay.

Music used in this episode includes:

  • John Adams, Nixon in China. Libretto by Alice Goodman, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Edo De Waart conducting. Nonesuch 79177.

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