Adams, Dessner, Greenwood: these are living composers with something to say, especially when given an orchestra and a few superhuman voices to say it with.
In the year the revered minimalist composer John Adams turns 70, Vivid LIVE and Opera Australia present a remarkable program of contemporary works. It culminates in the Sydney premiere of The Nixon Tapes — scenes from his first opera, Nixon in China, refashioned for the concert hall by the composer himself.
The original production was deemed “an operatic triumph of grave and thought-provoking beauty” by the Chicago Sun-Tribune upon its debut in 1987 and has more recently been considered a pivotal moment in the development of Adams as a composer, and a “masterpiece of the mid-1980s” (Tom Service, The Guardian, 2012).
The acclaimed Opera Australia Orchestra begins the night with orchestral works by two contemporary music giants Jonny Greenwood (Radiohead) and Bryce Dessner (The National).
Both musicians play in bands renowned for their invention and musicality. These qualities brilliantly manifest in Greenwood’s cinematic Popcorn Superhet Receiver. He adapted the work to score There Will be Blood, the 2007 Oscar-winning film. Dessner’s unsettling ‘St Carolyn by the Sea’ is a perfect partner.
“John Adams… the world’s greatest living composer” - The Telegraph (UK)