There is an interesting and somewhat problematic interview with John Adams up at the Guardian. It's one of those articles that tells you a lot more about the author than its subject. Just f'rinstance, here is the part that really gets me:
During the Vietnam war, he dodged the draft, dosing himself with caffeine and over-the-counter drugs to ensure that he failed the medical. Yet 30 years later, when asked by the New York Philharmonic to compose a 9/11 elegy, he succumbed to what he acknowledged was his "civic duty". Has the coyote been collared and tethered?Because I guess going off to kill and/or die in a distant jungle is basically the same as accepting a commission from the New York Phil? In terms of doing your civic duty?
So weird. The article is full of stuff like that! This passage is also kind of confusing—
Alice Goodman, who wrote the text for of [sic] Nixon in China, is now an ordained minister of the Church of England, dispensing piety to her flock in the shires; holy orders did not restrain her from denouncing Adams as a "dickhead" when their opera was performed in Brussels.I guess this is technically true? But kind of misleading. "Holy orders did not restrain" Alice Goodman (litotes?) because she was not an ordained minister at the time—in fact, I think she was Jewish. Also, he says "their opera," but the opera in question wasn't Nixon in China, as this passage seems to imply, but The Death of Klinghoffer, their second collaboration. Also, she didn't actually "denounce" him as a dickhead, since "denounce" implies a public statement, and actually it went something like this, according to Goodman at least (quoted by Rupert Christiansen in Thomas May's indispensable John Adams Reader, p. 253):
here. I would like a FULL REPORT, please, from anybody in London.