James Conion leads the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Chorus at Carnegie Hall in New York, NY on May 09, 2014. Melanie Burford/Prime/Melanie Burford/Prime for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Melanie Burford/Prime/Melanie Burford/Prime for NPR

David Robertson, a passionate champion of new music, conducts the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra on tour in Berlin. Dilip Vishwanat/St. Louis Symphony hide caption

itoggle caption Dilip Vishwanat/St. Louis Symphony

Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony, whose recording of music by John Adams made our Top 10 of 2012. Bill Swerbenski/courtesy of the artists hide caption

itoggle caption Bill Swerbenski/courtesy of the artists

Clockwise from upper left: Acid Pauli, Kendrick Lamar, Samuel Yirga, Kelan Philip Cohran, Waxahatchee, Pallbearer, Matthew Dear Courtesy of the artists hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of the artists

With the presidential election set for Tuesday, we take a look at operas that tackle today's toughest political issues. Scott Olson/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Scott Olson/Getty Images

The original production of John Adams' Nixon in China (at Houston Grand Opera) celebrates the 25-year mark. Jim Caldwell /Houston Grand Opera hide caption

itoggle caption Jim Caldwell /Houston Grand Opera

John Adams' Nixon in China, produced at the Metropolitan Opera in January 2011. Left to right: Janis Kelly as Pat Nixon, Teresa S. Herold as the Second Secretary to Mao, James Maddalena as Richard Nixon, Ginger Costa Jackson as the First Secretary to Mao, Russell Braun as Chou En-lai. Ken Howard/Metropoltan Opera hide caption

itoggle caption Ken Howard/Metropoltan Opera