Experiencing the music of Richard Wagner can be excruciating, something even the composer himself admitted. While finishing Tristan and Isolde, Wagner predicted that the final act is "bound to drive people mad."
Although I attended the 1987 world premiere of Nixon in China (and saw subsequent performances in 1988 and 1990), last month marked the first time I had seen Nixon in China in 22 years. A lot has happened in the interim.
I have been known to cut a rug to "Hava Nagila" at the right moment, but was this really what I needed to hear while waiting for a breast exam? I found it hard to sit still and focus on the task at hand so I found myself pacing. I had to step back and ask myself, why?