First Opera


Bonjour tout le monde, je suis allé à mon premier opéra! (Translation: I went to my first opera!) “Nixon in China,” presented by the Opera Bastille, a modern theatre located in the 12th arrondissement of Paris, was created by American composer John Adams in 1987. The opera, which is performed in English, centers around “Ping-Pong Diplomacy” and U.S. President Richard Nixon’s historic visit to the People’s Republic of China in 1972. The term “Ping-Pong Diplomacy,” refers to the exchange of Chinese and American table teams during the Cold War. During the 1971 World Table Tennis Team Championship in Nagoya, Japan, Chinese and American table tennis players were prohibited from interacting with each other; however, two players had a public encounter and exchanged gifts. Following the tournament, the American table tennis team was invited to China; soon after, the Chinese table tennis team was invited to the United States. This exchange of table tennis teams normalized relations between the United States and China. The following year, President Nixon visit China. As for the opera, I though the subject matter was interesting; I was not too familiar with the history of “Ping-Pong-Diplomacy.” In addition, I enjoyed the instrumental music of the songs.