Nixon in China – Day 1 (-ish)
Nixon in China began rehearsal yesterday morning at the Met– the morning after the Holiday Blizzard of 2010. After a very long drive back from Cleveland, which had us holed up in a Marriot Inn in Mt. Arlington, NJ on Sunday night, and a long Metro-North ride into Manhattan this afternoon, which had me crossing over from our broken-down train to the “rescue train”– I finally made it to C-Level Stage at 3:30, a mere 28 1/2 hours late. I quickly got a hug from Peter Sellars, introduced myself to John Adams, and we’re OFF!
Today’s rehearsal focused on Mao’s Secretaries, and their part in Act 1, Scene 2. Music rehearsal with John Adams conducting. Then the ladies started learning the elaborate hand choreography that seems to be the lion’s share of their staging. Peter describes it as fake Chinese Opera movement that he invented 24 years ago for the premiere. I conducted this part of rehearsal while John went off to a studio to work with Robert Brubaker, who is singing Mao. All in all, a good day at the office.