Thursday, May 31, 2012

Opera Guild Preview Lecture: Nixon in China

Stephen Hinton speaking on John Adams, 05.30.2012 Stephen Hinton showing video of John Adams in talk about Nixon in China at SFPL.Wednesday lunchtime I heard musicologist Stephen Hinton deliver a preview lecture on Nixon in China, which opens at the San Francisco Opera next week. The 90 minute talk was slow-moving & required a pause for Professor Hinton to reboot his laptop when the videos in his PowerPoint presentation refused to play. It took nearly 25 minutes before he got around to discussing the opera itself. It was helpful when he played musical examples to show the influence of Wagner, Stravinsky, Mozart & Weill on the music, but I came away with only a patchy impression of the opera. He mentioned a recent book, John Adams's Nixon in China, by Timothy Johnson, which might be worth checking out. Terry Ryan of the SF Opera Guild introduced the lecture, & she had her own way of dispatching the sesquipedalian German titles in Professor Hinton's bibliography.

§ Opera Guild Preview Lectures
Nixon in China by John Adams
Speaker: Stephen Hinton
5/30/2012 12:00p
Koret Auditorium, Main Library


Civic Center said...

If the rehearsals are any indication, this production is going to be great -- intelligent, visually arresting, and a powerhouse cast. The lecture, however, sounds dreadful.

Axel Feldheim said...

Thanks for the advance raves! I'm looking forward to it & anxious to hear the cast. A show of hands at the beginning of the lecture indicated that everyone was familiar with John Adams's music & a third had seen a production of Nixon in China already, so I think people actually wanted to hear about the up-coming production, but the speaker didn't cover that at all.