Sunday, May 03, 2009

Doctor Atomic

I recently picked up Doctor Atomic on DVD. It is an opera composed by John Adams about the testing of the first nuclear bomb. After one viewing my initial impressions are mixed. I felt that the first act was much stronger than the second, and ended on a more powerful climax. But that could change after repeated viewings. It might also be different if I were watching the performance live in a theater.

But the act one finale and its visual presentation are stunning:

Another highlight for me is this beautiful aria by Oppenheimer's wife earlier in the first act:

There are some great moments in the second act as well, but those two arias are my favorites. One of the cool things about this opera is that all of the text is taken either from actual things the characters said, or from some of Oppenheimer's favorite poets. This is a fantastic piece of work.

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