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< Kije may not exist...but the film about him DOES | Main | Symphony for the Sons of 'Nam >

Doctor Atomic

Posted at 9:32 AM on November 7, 2008 by Fred Child (1 Comments)


Composer John Adams joins me Friday, talking about his 2005 opera "Doctor Atomic." The opera is set during the final tense days before the first test of the atomic bomb, in 1945. You can listen to our 6-minute story (produced by Suzanne Schaffer) by clicking here.

Baritone Gerald Finley also joins me in our feature story. Finley sings the role of Dr. J Robert Oppenheimer, lead physicist on the Manhattan Project. Oppenheimer is a complex, elusive figure. Depending on who you ask, Oppenheimer was a patriot, or he was a traitor. He was a brilliant scientist, he was Dr. Frankenstein. Gerald Finley has the unique perspective of portraying the man onstage. So I asked Finley, who *was* J. Robert Oppenheimer? (His answer opens our feature.)

And here's a fascinating moment that didn't make the final cut: I asked Adams what place the atomic bomb plays in his personal iconography. Click here for his response.


Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei is Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Dr. ElBaradei saw a performance of Doctor Atomic a couple of weeks ago, and the Met's Christine Cooper interviewed him afterwards. Listen to his comments by clicking here.

Doctor Atomic continues at the Metropolitan Opera in New York through next week. The Saturday afternoon performance (November 8) will be shown live in movie theaters around the country. (If you haven't yet seen the Met's HD theater broadcasts, you must!)

For a list of movie theaters where you can see Dr. Atomic on Saturday, click here.

For a schedule of the Met's live HD theater broadcasts, and for ticket information, click here.

The Met has a terrific website for Dr. Atomic. Interviews, videos, scientific background, a behind-the-scenes blog, and more.

Comments ( 1 )

Interesting idea and original concept. However, the second half of the program dragged, had no action, and tested my attention. The set was marvelous, though.

Posted by jenel | November 11, 2008 5:14 PM

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