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And I think the danger in staging it is to demean the characters; Nixon is so easily ridiculed. You’re old enough to remember those late night comedians after Watergate. You remember Rich Little, holding out the peace sign. That’s what everyone expected, that it would be more of a cartoon. And a lot of the initial reviews had a certain puzzlement. I remember the Village Voice saying, “What’s the big idea of treating Pat Nixon, the most vacuous person who ever inhabited the White House, as a serious person?” pointe shoes for adults uk online.
A I think Nixon now has a better place in people’s minds, given how politics has evolved in the 40 years since he visited China. Remember that Nixon used wage and price controls, and he created the National Endowment for the Arts. A lot of the things he did — if Barack Obama tried to do them now, he would be called a Communist pointe shoes for adults uk online. A Nixon meeting Mao represented a collision of the two competing visions of how one might live one’s life in a societal framework: Nixon representing the market economy and capitalism, all the things that we hear about all the time now; unfettered, unregulated freedom to make one’s fortune; and on the other hand, Mao representing communism and socialism, where in its best form, in its most idealistic form, no one goes hungry and everyone gets a chance in life — and of course all the problems that come with that — tyranny and control and violence..
Q Pat Nixon and Madam Mao are both terrific characters in the opera. Will you talk about them?. A Pat Nixon is the ideal stand-by-your-man Republican wife, the role of the woman as always standing in the background, but representing core values. Again we saw that very much on display in the recent (primary) campaign, whenever you saw Newt Gingrich or Romney with their spouses pointe shoes for adults uk online. And anyone who ever steps out of the background, as Hillary Clinton did, gets severely criticized. Q But in a lot of ways, Pat Nixon is such a touching figure in the opera..
A When Pat has her moment, she thinks about homeland, American values and Norman Rockwell images. And the poetry that (librettist) Alice Goodman gave her in Act II is really wonderful poetry. Alice managed to summon up these images that are routinely abused by advertising and political slogans, images of sitting around the living room table. Alice did it in a way that’s so absolutely sincere and from the heart; when Pat’s singing, you’re really able to appreciate those values. Q What about Madame Mao? pointe shoes for adults uk online.
A She was in her younger years a kind of frustrated artist — in fact a movie actress — but she gave that up in search of power, at which she became extremely adept. She was Machiavellian, a terrifying behind-the-throne power, a killer. It makes you almost think of the frustrated painter that the young Adolf Hitler was. At the same time, I felt there was always something very erotic about her. Q The libretto works with that idea, too. A You know, I conducted “Nixon” at the Met last year, and in many ways really became re-acquainted with it. And I just love the libretto. I love every moment in it. I can’t believe there are still people who complain about it being arch or dense or incomprehensible. I think it’s just fantastic. Alice caught the tone of the Chinese and the official Communist utterances. She caught the Middle-American tone of the U.S. politicians pointe shoes for adults uk online.