John Adams, photo by Margaretta Mitchell courtesy of The Washington Post
Composer John Adams, speaking to Colin Eatock in a special interview for The Globe and Mail
“Coming back to it now,” says Adams, “I’m astonished by what I was able to do at the time, given my lack of experience in the world of opera. I hardly ever went to opera, and I’d never written a piece for solo voice. I had no experience in the theatre beyond acting with my mother in South Pacific as a kid, and conducting The Marriage of Figaro with my classmates in college. It was kind of a miracle that my first attempt turned out to have a lasting life.”
Adams is the most respected opera composer in the United States today, and not a year goes by without a company somewhere presenting one of his four operas: Nixon in China, The Death of Klinghoffer, Dr. Atomic or A Flowering Tree. Currently, Nixon in China is in production in two cities: It launched at New York’s Metropolitan Opera on Wednesday, and on Saturday the Canadian Opera Company opens it in Toronto.