From Richard Scheinin at mercury It’s been 25 years since John Adams’ “Nixon in China” premiered at Houston Grand Opera, invig­o­rating the oper­atic world. Inspired by Pres­i­dent Richard M. Nixon’s historic visit to Beijing in 1972, it was Adams’ first opera, and it’s one he still holds dear. In “Hallelujah Junc­tion,” his auto­bi­og­raphy, Adams writes that “Nixon” contains “moments that are among my favorites of all the music I’ve ever composed.” Last month, while the Berkeley-based composer spent some time at his cabin in the north woods of Sonoma, I phoned him to discuss the opera. For the next hour, while watering his tomato patch and tossing a tennis ball to his dog, a pointer named Eloise, Adams waxed about “Nixon in China.” · Go to John Adams on first opera, “Nixon in China” →