Adams' music, including his two "grand operas" written with poet Alice Goodman, have been called "post-minimalist" for the way they expand on the style pioneered by composers like Steve Reich and Philip Glass. Adams' Doctor Atomic recently found a new production at the Metropolitan Opera, with his Nixon in China scheduled to follow in 2010.
Nixon in China, opera in three acts Libretto by Alice Goodman. October 22, 1987, Houston Grand Opera, Houston, Texas
The Death of Klinghoffer, opera in two acts Libretto by Alice Goodman. March 19, 1991, Théâtre de la Monnaie, Brussels, Belgium
Doctor Atomic Libretto by Peter Sellars, drawn from historical sources. October 1, 2005, San Francisco Opera, San Francisco, California
A Flowering Tree, opera in two acts Libretto by John Adams and Peter Sellars after the ancient Indian folktale and poetry in translations by AK Ramanujan. November 14, 2006, MuseumsQuartier, Vienna, Austria, Eric Owens/Russell Thomas/Jessica Rivera; Orquesta Joven Camerata de Venezuela/Schola Cantorum Caracas, cond. Adams; also Berlin, San Francisco, London