American Modern Opera Company to Present John Adams’ ‘El Niño: Nativity Reconsidered’

By Logan Martell

On December 21, 2022, American Modern Opera Company will present John Adam’s “El Niño: Nativity Reconsidered” at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine.

This chamber work, with libretto by Peter Sellars and concept by Julia Bullock, first made its premiere in San Martín at Fuentidueña chapel of The Met Cloisters in 2018. The case of this one-night concert features Bullock, countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo, bass-baritone Davone Tines, mezzo Rachael Wilson, as well as violinists Miranda Cuckson and Keir GoGwilt, cellist Coleman Itzkoff, bassist Doug Balliett, flutist Emi Ferguson, percussionist Jonny Allen, pianist Conor Hanick, and The Choir of Trinity Wall Street.

The performance will be led by conductor Christian Reif, who premiered the original piece and created the new arrangement.

“’El Niño’ is one of my favorite pieces of music,” Bullock said in an official press statement. “It’s one of John and Peter’s greatest collaborations and explores the central themes of the nativity – miracles, the unique relationship between mother and child, and gift giving. The reason to develop this distilled rendering of ‘El Niño’ with John’s and Peter’s blessing, was to enable more people to experience this extraordinary work.”