Writer and broadcaster Rana Mitter and journalist Shuyun Sun discuss the political context of John Adams' first opera Nixon in China. Hosted by Louise Fryer.
The opera tells the story of Richard Nixon's historic three day visit to China in 1972. Three years into his presidency the announcement that the anti-communist Republican president would visit Mao Tse-tung's China to improve international relations made world headlines. The visit was closely followed by the international press and scenes of Nixon and his wife Pat were widely televised around the globe. Composer John Adams describes this clash of capitalism and communism as 'an epochal event, one whose magnitude is hard to imagine from our present perspective'.