About this Recording
100220 -

John Adams - El niño

La Nativité
The World Première Production, Libretto by John Adams, Peter Sellars
From the Théâtre Musical de Paris - Châtelet
Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin, Conducted by Kent Nagano
Directed for the stage by Peter Sellars
Cast: Dawn Upshaw, Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Willard White

Running Time: 147 min (Opera: 119 min; Documentary: 28 min)
Recording Date: 2000
Menu languages: PAL GB, D, F, SP / NTSC GB, JP, F, SP
Subtitle languages: PAL GB, D, F, SP / NTSC GB, JP, F, SP
Picture Format: 16:9
Sound Format: PCM Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.0, DTS 5.0
Region Code: 0
Sel. No. 100 220 PAL / 100 221 NTSC

The most recent composition by American minimalist composer John Adams is his take on the "Christmas Oratorio": a large-scale music theatre work entitled El niño. How does one actually celebrate Christ's birth in a land where palm trees and race conflicts flourish - in sunny California? Perhaps the way composer John Adams and director Peter Sellars portray it at the beginning of El niño (La Nativité), which was first performed nine days before Christmas 2000 at the Parisian Théâtre du Chatelet: with a tree and festoons of lights. This symbol projected on the stage as a hazily poetic yet realistically blurred video is telling in more ways than one. This fourth joint stage work by Adams and Sellars - which unlike the two operas Nixon in China (1987) and The death of Klinghoffer (1991) turns to a Biblical rather than a contemporary theme - uses musical elements we are already familiar with from these two artists' three "worldly" pieces. An extended documentary on the making of this piece contains many interviews with Adams, Sellars and Dawn Upshaw. The DVD was recorded in outstanding DTS sound.

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