James Maddalena, who originated the role of Nixon in 1987, will sing his “News Aria” (which Adams has listed as one of his all-time favorites among his compositions). Kathleen Kim will sing Madame Mao’s “I Am the Wife of Mao Tse-tung,” while Russell Braun, as the voice of Chinese premier Chou En-lai’, will sing “I Am Old and Cannot Sleep.”
Nixon in China is receiving its Met premiere with the February 2-19 production, which will be seen live in HD in movie theaters around the world on February 12. The opera chronicles President Richard Nixon’s historic 1972 visit to Chairman Mao Tse-tung’s Red China, a carefully managed international media event. Adams and librettist Alice Goodman created a brilliant fusion of public and private expression, exploring issues of political power, public showmanship and cultural tension alongside the personal doubt, vulnerability and loneliness these ambitions incite.