John Adams, 70 today, is ‘6 minutes from the end’ of next opera

John Adams, 70 today, is ‘6 minutes from the end’ of next opera


norman lebrecht

February 15, 2017

The opera, Girls of the Golden West, is scheduled at San Francisco Opera in November.

The director Peter Sellars tells Richard Fairman in the FT:

‘He is six minutes from the end. I’ve heard the first half of the finale . . . The subject matter is the Californian gold rush of 1851-52 and the huge shift that happened as people poured in from around the world, creating the first multicultural encounter. The opera is going to be hilarious, totally high-energy, and the music is fleet and alive, without a shred of self-pity. And its deeper strains are arriving perfectly on cue for the Trump era.’

Full article here.

photo: Chris Christodoulou/Lebrecht Music&Arts


  • Brian says:

    Happy birthday, Mr Adams, and many happy returns!

    My new stereo arrives today. The first piece I intend to play on it is Lollapalooza!

  • Joel Lazar says:

    Happy birthday, John, and many more!

  • DrummerMan says:

    Surely he could have chosen a better title.

  • DrummerMan says:

    You mean like: “My Father Knew Charles Ives;” “Slonimsky’s Earbox;” “Christian Zeal and Activity;” “Hallelujah Junction.”

    In the case of this new opera, you know lots of people will confuse it with Puccini. Perhaps that’s what he wants?

  • John Borstlap says:

    The last minutes of every opera are the most dangerous to write. If they fall flat, they reflect – with hindsight – backwards to the whole piece. That’s why those impressive conclusions of Fallstaff, Mozart’s Da Ponte operas, Fidelio, all Wagner opera’s from Dutchman onwards (and, maybe, except Götterdämmerung), enhance the total experience of the evening. Good luck to John Adams with his last minutes.