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Doctor Atomic

Doctor Atomic

Story & Setting:

In 1940s New Mexico, the Manhattan Project worked to create a world-altering weapon that was considered an incredible feat in science and technology. John Adams' opera has been called an "American version of the Faust myth," and explores the conflict of Dr. J Robert Oppenheimer as he struggles with the implications of innovation for seemingly limitless power of destruction.

Dr. Atomic Activity
Dr. Atomic Student Handout
Opera Notes:

Doctor Atomic is the third collaboration between Adams and librettist Peter Sellars. It utilizes a variety of sources, including interviews, excerpts from scientific papers, and poems, in tandem with Adams' minimalist technique of repeated melodies and words. The piece was premiered in 2005, to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II. 

Sung in

English

Length: 

3 hours

John Adams (b. 1947)

Watch/Listen


“Scenes from Doctor Atomic” (The New York Times)

Met Opera (current production)


"Easter Eve" (Sasha Cooke)

Met Opera (current production)