|I'll have a second helping of this, please.|
You've probably read the unanimously positive reviews about SF Opera's "Nixon in China," and though I was only going to see it once at the end of the run, both Lisa Hirsch and Josh Kosman strongly recommended seeing it twice, so I went last night and I'm glad I did.
The praise is merited. In fact, if SFO's General Director David Gockley had a better record of putting productions of this caliber onstage with any kind of regularity instead of with maddening infrequency, I'd be an ardent supporter. While it's not going to be everyone's musical cup of tea (I observed numerous departures during both intermissions), no single composer is, of course- even Puccini has his (wrong-headed) detractors- anyone with an interest in opera as an art form needs to take advantage of its presence here and see what all the fuss is about.
While I was watching and listening to it last night, I revelled in its constant musical allusions to Wagner, but this morning I'm also pondering unexpected parallels with thematic aspects of the Ring Cycle. I also awoke to the "News" aria running through my mind. It's all too rare when something this memorable, thought-provoking and challenging shows up on the War Memorial stage, the last time was The Makropulos Affair a couple years ago, so don't miss it.
More than that I'll keep to myself until after I've seen it a second time.