American soprano Renée Fleming is to make rare operatic appearances as Pat Nixon in a new production of John Adams’ “Nixon in China” at the Paris Opera next season in 2023.
The opera is to be given eight performances at the Bastille from March 25 to April 16, 2023, the company said Wednesday. Music director Gustavo Dudamel will conduct a cast that includes baritone Thomas Hampson as Nixon and soprano Kathleen Kim as Madame Mao.
Valentina Carrasco directs.
Fleming, 63, stopped singing central repertory roles in 2017 but has continued concerts and contemporary works, and she received a Tony Award nomination in 2018 for her portrayal of Nettie Fowler in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Carousel.” Fleming returns to New York’s Metropolitan Opera for the staged premiere of Kevin Puts’ “The Hours,” which opens Nov. 22 in the first of eight performances through Dec. 15.
ABOUT THE OPERA In February 1972, the American president Richard Nixon went to China to meet Mao Zedong. In the context of the war in Vietnam and the cold war, this encounter marked a turning point in Chinese‑ American relations. John Adams, a major musical figure of the last forty years, made this event of contemporary history the subject of his first opera. Nixon in China tackles the political thaw instigated by ping-pong diplomacy, begun by the invitation of the American table tennis players by their Chinese counterparts, one year before the presidential visit. A mesmerizing work in which the pulsations and repetitions typical of minimalism are combined with melodic lines of great lyricism. For its entry into the Paris Opera repertoire, this work has been entrusted to the director Valentina Carrasco, who underlines the importance and the mediating power of Chinese national sport in history.
CAST & CREATIVE TEAM
PARIS OPERA 2022
The Paris Opera season includes new stagings of Strauss’ “Salome” (opening Oct. 15 at the Bastille), Britten’s “Peter Grimes (Jan. 26 at the Palais Garnier), Thomas’ ”Hamlet” (March 11 at the Bastille), Handel’s “Ariodate” (April 20 at the Palais Garnier) and Gounod’s “Roméo et Juliette” (June 17 at the Bastille).
Soprano Anna Netrebko, dropped by the Metropolitan Opera, is to sing Leonora in a revival of Verdi’s “La Forza del Destino” on Dec. 12 and 21 at the Bastille.