Imagining the “Trump in Europe” opera

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AFTER decades of tense relations with China, Richard Nixon in 1972 undertook a pathbreaking visit to the communist country. So historic was the American president’s trip that John Adams was inspired to write an opera about it. The composer was on to something: summits, with their high stakes and larger-than-life personalities, are natural operatic fodder and despite being a modernist work, “Nixon in China” has established itself in the operatic repertoire. A recent diplomatic trip undertaken by the incumbent American president would, in fact, make for even more compelling musical drama. Prospero has endeavoured to imagine such a work, which might be entitled “Trump in Europe”.

Donald Trump is the undisputed hero of this comic opera in three acts. “Comic” does not here mean superficial or laugh-out-loud hilarious: as Rossini so superbly demonstrated in “The Barber of Seville”, comic opera combines a sophisticated analysis of human interactions with a light touch. Foreign policy offers plenty of opportunities to study human…Continue reading

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