El Nino: Nativity Reconsidered

By Jon Sobel

12/23/2022 Blog Critics

The resounding echo chamber of the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine would be a death knell for a lot of music. Not so El Niño: Nativity Reconsidered. In the run-up to Christmas 2022, the American Modern Opera Company presented an abridged chamber adaptation by Julia Bullock of John Adams‘ opera-oratorio. The drama was pungent as the vaulted space billowed the sound into thunderings and whisperings. The large crowd seemed captivated by Adams’ (Nixon in China, The Death of Klinghoffer) compelling, mostly dark score, as arranged and conducted by Christian Reif leading the Choir of Trinity Wall Street, four stellar soloists and a tight chamber orchestra.

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