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Monday, January 23, 2012

Richard Nixon Reported En Route to Kansas City

General Director James Wright
Richard Nixon, Mao, First Lady Pat Nixon, et. al. are travelling by semi truck to Kansas City, Missouri from Vancouver.

Vancouver Opera’s vaunted production of Nixon in China, which premiered in March 2010, is off to Kansas City as part of the Lyric Opera of Kansas City’s inaugural season in their new home, the Kauffman Performing Arts Center.  

Alan Woodrow (Mao),
Robert Orth (Nixon) and
Thomas Hammons

The Lyric’s General Director Evan Luskin saw our Nixon in 2010 and the company soon after made a commitment to rent our production and engage the entire creative team. Also in the audience at the time was San Francisco Opera’s General Director David Gockley, who also decided to rent our production. Nixon will travel from Kansas City directly to San Francisco for performances there in June. More on that engagement in the months ahead.

Robert Orth is ready for
his closeup
I am really happy about these rentals for several reasons. First, I believe the production deserves to be seen by a wide audience in different cities: it is a very handsome and creative production that is, I believe, THE Nixon in China production for the next decade. Also, I am very happy that the creative team is getting its due and is being engaged to re-mount their original work. Director Michael Cavanagh, designers Erhard Rom, Parvin Mirhady, Sean Nieuwenhuis, Harry Frehner, and choreographer Wen Wei Wang are all traveling to those cities to oversee the installation of the production.

Chen-Ye Yuan (Chou EnLai),
Sally Dibblee (Pat Nixon) and
Robert Orth (Nixon)
I am proud of Vancouver Opera for producing this important contemporary work, and proud that it is resonating with other companies and communities. We don’t know what the future holds for additional productions, but we have fielded several inquiries from other opera companies as well.

Finally, there is a satisfaction in a “full circle” with our Nixon in China going to Kansas City. The Lyric Opera of Kansas City was the first opera company I worked for, way back in 1977-81. I enjoyed living there very much and I learned so much so quickly about this business, as I was allowed to stretch and grow, move into new roles and try out new ideas. It’s very satisfactory for me to now be heading a company sending an exciting new production back “home.”

- James Wright
General Director, Vancouver Opera

photos by Tim Matheson

1 comment:

Krista said...

Great news! I found the VO production to be significantly superior to the Met's recent production in almost every way.