Brave little Trinity Lyric Opera had planned to follow its first
two productions (both local premieres: Copland's "The Tender Land"
and Vaughan Williams' "The Pilgrim's Progress") with the North
California premiere of "local composer" John Adams' "Nixon in China" -
http://www.sfcv.org/2008/01/22/music-news-42/#anchor3. It would have
been great timing, the production coinciding with the 20th anniversary
of the the work, an election year in the U.S., and the Olympic Games in
But now, although the announcement is yet to come from company director
Alan Thayer and music director John Kendall Bailey, SF Classical Voice
has learned that the production was canceled, and Trinity is looking
for a replacement.
Sources tell us that Boosey & Hawkes withdrew permission for the production,
a highly unusual move at a time after Trinity's public announcement and
most of the casting already decided. The publisher's action, which cited
an error in issuing the license in the first place, makes one wonder if
the composer might have denied permission.
At San Francisco Opera, whose general director, David Gockley, was
responsible for the "Nixon in China" 1987 Houston world premiere,
there is a possibility "Nixon" may be produced in 2010, or, at least,
so Gockley told Contra Costa Times music columnist Georgia Rowe
and unfortunately, Rowe - a valued writer on the Bay Area scene -
became part of the continued downsizing in music journalism -
Did the Opera ask Boosey & Hawkes to withdraw permission? Communications
Director Karen Ames (who learned about Trinity's cancellation from this
reporter) said "the Opera had absolutely nothing to do with it."
Unrelated but fascinating this morning: see Leon Fleisher's political
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