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Does Nixon Ever Get Old?

Opera is obsessed with history but seldom with recent political history. When John Adams’ “Nixon in China” premiered in 1987, 15 years after the events depicted in the opera transpired, Richard and Pat Nixon and Chiang Ch’ing (Mme. Mao) were all still very much alive. Minimalism was the cutting-edge musical trend, and composer John Adams and choreographer Mark Morris were firebrands of the avant-garde. The director Peter Sellars was a brilliant wunderkind, barely 30 years old. Comment

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