Once again, thanks to the good graces of the San Diego Opera, I (along with cartoonist Eric Shanower) was invited to sit in and sketch an opera’s dress rehearsal. This time, the opera was a 20th Century one: John Adams’s Nixon in China. I have to confess that I approached this one with some trepidation ( I’m not really a fan of “modern” operas). But, I’m pleased to admit, I rather enjoyed Nixon in China much more than I expected! I thought the music had a haunting quality to it. And there’s a surreal scene of an opera performed within the opera– with Mrs. Nixon getting into the act, literally! My enjoyment was enhanced by my own memories of Nixon’s historic trip in 1972. It was the talk of my high school!
Here are some of my sketches from the dress rehearsal. Nixon in China will be performed at San Diego Civic Theatre. Thanks for SD Opera’s own Edward Wilensky for arranging the evening! Go here to Ed’s blog, Aria Serious?, to see Eric’s sketches for Nixon as well as sketches from previous operas.