This Thursday at Cathedral St. John in New York: rare John Adams oratorio


It’s very short notice but those of you in New York may want to amble by for music in a majestic space. The Cathedral of St. John the Divine presents contemporary composer John Adams’ El Niño: Nativity Reconsidered, an American Modern Opera Company production, with libretto by Peter Sellars and concept by AMOC member, Julia Bullock. The piece, which celebrates Latin American poets and the voices of women, returns for a one-night-only engagement this holiday season.

El Nino is one of my favorite pieces of music,” said Bullock, who asserts that, “It’s one of John and Peter’s greatest collaborations.”

A rarely performed work, El Niño “ruminates on the notion that with the promise of new life, there is the equal threat of inexplicable violence and sacrifice,” said Bullock, who curated the selections being performed. “We believe that El Niño is a resonant part of the holiday canon and are thrilled to share it coast to coast, returning home to The Cathedral of St. John the Divine where it will be presented again without the barrier of cost,” said Courtenay Casey, Executive Director, American Modern Opera Company. The event is being offered on a pay-what-you-can-afford basis.

Rising conducting star Christian Reif, who created the new arrangement and premiered the initial iteration of the piece at the Cloisters in 2018, will conduct

El Niño: Nativity Reconsidered

Music by John Adams
Libretto compilation by Peter Sellars
Concept and musical selections by Julia Bullock
Musical Arrangement by Christian Reif, conducted by Christian Reif

El Niño: Nativity Reconsidered | American Modern Opera Company | The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, NYC | Thursday Dec 21

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