The Bad Guy

Nixon In China

As a big fan of the opera Nixon In China, I was so excited to find the following clips from it on YouTube. As the title implies, NIC is about the historic meeting between Richard Nixon and Mao Tse-tung. The composer, John Adams, once described it (jokingly) as an opera for “Republicans and Communists.” Well, I’m neither and I still love the hell out of it. As disappointed as I was that Act I, Scene 2 (where Mao and Nixon meet for the first time) was not among the clips posted, I’m still thrilled to see these.

Click “read more” for the clips.

Enjoy!

In the first clip, Chou En-lai greets Richard Nixon. Nixon then proceeds to sing about news.

The second clip is the state dinner in Beijing where everyone is toasting to everything. Hell they even toast to George Washington’s birthday. Afterwards, a drunken Nixon tells everyone that he was wrong about China. Here it sounds conciliatory, but in real life (and if done by normal drunkards) it’d sound more like “Yu-You know whu? You guys ah all right. You got your own country…Aw! Sweet picture of you there…fuckin’ HUUUGE! Hey, Pat! Henry! Check out this totally HUGE picture of Mao! I want one, too…Of me. I want, like, 20 of ’em. It’d be awesome!!!”

This third clip is one of my favorites. Kissinger (as Lao-Szu) whips a peasant woman half to death in a stage play. Pat Nixon comes to the woman’s aid and then the music gets better. The whipping scene is not my favorite but everything after that is. For some reason I don’t have a problem picturing Henry Kissinger beating someone up for fun, or even to prove a point about how power screws over the powerless. I also have no problem picturing him putting on a fake mustache for the occasion.

Another one of my favorites. Madame Mao shows up and declares her great boasts to the people. Notice how the music mimics a braying donkey during “I Am The Wife Of Mao Tse-tung.”

This next clip is historic. I believe it is the first time EVER in the history of opera where a character asks “Where’s the toilet?” Which one gets that honor? Henry Kissinger!

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March 17, 2007 - Posted by | News and politics, Nixon In China, opera

1 Comment »

  1. […] The Bad Boy provides us with more clips (one clip is missing). As a big fan of the opera Nixon In China, I was so excited to find the following clips from it on YouTube. As the title implies, NIC is about the historic meeting between Richard Nixon and Mao Tse-tung. The composer, John Adams, once described it (jokingly) as an opera for “Republicans and Communists.” Well, I’m neither and I still love the hell out of it. This third clip is one of my favorites. Kissinger (as Lao-Szu) whips a peasant woman half to death in a stage play. Pat Nixon comes to the woman’s aid and then the music gets better. […]

    Pingback by Vitro Nasu » Blog Archive » Nixon in China + Zhou En Lai | October 1, 2009 | Reply


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