Of course a work can be successful just for being successful but that is not the whole story. The work in question is revived for all the wrong reasons. Mostly for what it is not; serial, music centered, dramatically comprehensible, or singable.
So if this work is successful in spite of all these flaws why then?
The history of Opera and Opera houses includes the fact that they are, have been, and still are the official artistic statement of governments, their supporters, and the wealthy. Just visit the old Granier Palace. The new Paris opera may look different but look at the folks who pay the bills. America is no different in its attitude towards institutional opera. Considering the supposed liberalism of its authors this work Nixon in China seems a success for the wrong reasons. That is the public is not clamoring for productions of this work the gatekeepers are. Unlike Diego Rivera this artistic endeavor was built to suit.
This work, for all its supposed radicalism, happens to bring opera back to its State sanctioned roots.
A Mural praising our beloved leaders.