Home      Discussion      Topics      Dictionary      Almanac
Signup       Login
Doctor Atomic

Doctor Atomic

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Doctor Atomic'
Start a new discussion about 'Doctor Atomic'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
Doctor Atomic is an opera
Opera
Opera is an art form in which singers and musicians perform a dramatic work combining text and musical score, usually in a theatrical setting. Opera incorporates many of the elements of spoken theatre, such as acting, scenery, and costumes and sometimes includes dance...

 by the contemporary American composer John Adams, with libretto
Libretto
A libretto is the text used in an extended musical work such as an opera, operetta, masque, oratorio, cantata, or musical. The term "libretto" is also sometimes used to refer to the text of major liturgical works, such as mass, requiem, and sacred cantata, or even the story line of a...

 by Peter Sellars
Peter Sellars
Peter Sellars is an American theatre director, noted for his unique contemporary stagings of classical and contemporary operas and plays...

. It premiered at the San Francisco Opera
San Francisco Opera
San Francisco Opera is an American opera company, based in San Francisco, California.It was founded in 1923 by Gaetano Merola and is the second largest opera company in North America...

 on 1 October 2005. The work focuses on the great stress and anxiety experienced by those at Los Alamos
Los Alamos National Laboratory
Los Alamos National Laboratory is a United States Department of Energy national laboratory, managed and operated by Los Alamos National Security , located in Los Alamos, New Mexico...

 while the test of the first atomic bomb (the "Trinity
Trinity test
Trinity was the code name of the first test of a nuclear weapon. This test was conducted by the United States Army on July 16, 1945, in the Jornada del Muerto desert about 35 miles southeast of Socorro, New Mexico, at the new White Sands Proving Ground, which incorporated the Alamogordo Bombing...

" test) was being prepared. In 2007, a documentary was made about the creation of the opera, titled Wonders Are Many.

Composition history


The first act takes place about a month before the bomb is to be tested, and the second act is set in the early morning of 16 July 1945 (the day of the test). During the second act, time frequently slows down for the characters and then snaps back into reality. The opera ends in the final, prolonged moment before the bomb is detonated. Although the original commission for the opera suggested that U.S. physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer, the "father of the atomic bomb," be fashioned as a twentieth-century Doctor Faustus
Faust
Faust is the protagonist of a classic German legend; a highly successful scholar, but also dissatisfied with his life, and so makes a deal with the devil, exchanging his soul for unlimited knowledge and worldly pleasures. Faust's tale is the basis for many literary, artistic, cinematic, and musical...

, Adams and Sellars deliberately attempted to avoid this characterization.

The work centers on key players in the Manhattan Project
Manhattan Project
The Manhattan Project was a research and development program, led by the United States with participation from the United Kingdom and Canada, that produced the first atomic bomb during World War II. From 1942 to 1946, the project was under the direction of Major General Leslie Groves of the US Army...

, especially Robert Oppenheimer, General Leslie Groves
Leslie Groves
Lieutenant General Leslie Richard Groves, Jr. was a United States Army Corps of Engineers officer who oversaw the construction of the Pentagon and directed the Manhattan Project that developed the atomic bomb during World War II. As the son of a United States Army chaplain, Groves lived at a...

, and also features Kitty Oppenheimer, Robert's wife, and her anxiety over her husband's project. Sellars adapted the libretto from primary historical sources. The libretto also quotes from the Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
The ' , also more simply known as Gita, is a 700-verse Hindu scripture that is part of the ancient Sanskrit epic, the Mahabharata, but is frequently treated as a freestanding text, and in particular, as an Upanishad in its own right, one of the several books that constitute general Vedic tradition...

, songs of the Tewa, the Holy Sonnets of John Donne
John Donne
John Donne 31 March 1631), English poet, satirist, lawyer, and priest, is now considered the preeminent representative of the metaphysical poets. His works are notable for their strong and sensual style and include sonnets, love poetry, religious poems, Latin translations, epigrams, elegies, songs,...

, and the poetry of Charles Baudelaire
Charles Baudelaire
Charles Baudelaire was a French poet who produced notable work as an essayist, art critic, and pioneering translator of Edgar Allan Poe. His most famous work, Les Fleurs du mal expresses the changing nature of beauty in modern, industrializing Paris during the nineteenth century...

 and Muriel Rukeyser
Muriel Rukeyser
Muriel Rukeyser was an American poet and political activist, best known for her poems about equality, feminism, social justice, and Judaism...

.

Doctor Atomic is similar in style to previous Adams operas Nixon in China
Nixon in China (opera)
Nixon in China is an opera in three acts by John Adams, with a libretto by Alice Goodman. Adams' first opera, it was inspired by the 1972 visit to China by US President Richard Nixon. The work premiered at the Houston Grand Opera on October 22, 1987, in a production by Peter Sellars with...

and The Death of Klinghoffer
The Death of Klinghoffer
The Death of Klinghoffer is an American opera, with music by John Adams to an English-language libretto by Alice Goodman. First produced in Brussels and New York in 1991, the opera is based on the hijacking of the passenger liner Achille Lauro by the Palestine Liberation Front in 1985, and the...

, both of which explored the characters and personalities that were involved in historical incidents, rather than a re-enactment of the events themselves.

The libretto


Much of the text from the opera was adapted from declassified U.S. government documents and communications among the scientists, government officials, and military personnel who were involved in the project. Other borrowed texts include poetry by Charles Baudelaire
Charles Baudelaire
Charles Baudelaire was a French poet who produced notable work as an essayist, art critic, and pioneering translator of Edgar Allan Poe. His most famous work, Les Fleurs du mal expresses the changing nature of beauty in modern, industrializing Paris during the nineteenth century...

, John Donne
John Donne
John Donne 31 March 1631), English poet, satirist, lawyer, and priest, is now considered the preeminent representative of the metaphysical poets. His works are notable for their strong and sensual style and include sonnets, love poetry, religious poems, Latin translations, epigrams, elegies, songs,...

, and Muriel Rukeyser
Muriel Rukeyser
Muriel Rukeyser was an American poet and political activist, best known for her poems about equality, feminism, social justice, and Judaism...

, the Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
The ' , also more simply known as Gita, is a 700-verse Hindu scripture that is part of the ancient Sanskrit epic, the Mahabharata, but is frequently treated as a freestanding text, and in particular, as an Upanishad in its own right, one of the several books that constitute general Vedic tradition...

, and a traditional Tewa Indian song. Marvin Cohen, head of the American Physical Society
American Physical Society
The American Physical Society is the world's second largest organization of physicists, behind the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft. The Society publishes more than a dozen scientific journals, including the world renowned Physical Review and Physical Review Letters, and organizes more than 20...

, criticized some parts of the libretto for not being strictly scientifically correct, in particular the original opening lines (below).

The opening chorus originally began with the following excerpt from the 1945 Smyth Report
Smyth Report
The Smyth Report was the common name given to an administrative history written by physicist Henry DeWolf Smyth about the Allied World War II effort to develop the atomic bomb, the Manhattan Project...

:
"Matter can be neither created nor destroyed but only altered in form.
Energy can be neither created nor destroyed but only altered in form."


Subsequently to Cohen's criticism, Adams rewrote the opening chorus, so that it now reads:
We believed that
"Matter can be neither
created nor destroyed
but only altered in form."
We believed that
"Energy can be neither
created nor destroyed
but only altered in form."
But now we know that
energy may become matter,
and now we know that
matter may become energy
and thus be altered in form.


Act 1 concludes with an aria sung by Oppenheimer with text from Donne's Holy Sonnet
Holy Sonnets
The Holy Sonnets, also known as the Divine Meditations or Divine Sonnets, are a series of nineteen poems by the English poet John Donne...

 XIV:
Batter my heart, three person’d God; For you
As yet but knock, breathe, knock, breathe, knock, breathe
Shine, and seek to mend;
Batter my heart, three person’d God;
That I may rise, and stand, o’erthrow me, and bend
Your force, to break, blow, break, blow, break, blow
burn and make me new.

I, like an usurpt town, to another due,
Labor to admit you, but Oh, to no end,
Reason your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captiv’d, and proves weak or untrue,
Yet dearly I love you, and would be lov’d fain,
But am betroth’d unto your enemy,
Divorce me, untie, or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.


The Act 2, scene iii chorus, borrowed from the Bhagavad Gita (translated into English by Swami Prabhavananda
Swami Prabhavananda
Swami Prabhavananda was an Indian philosopher, monk of the Ramakrishna Order, and religious teacher.-Biography:...

 and Christopher Isherwood
Christopher Isherwood
Christopher William Bradshaw Isherwood was an English-American novelist.-Early life and work:Born at Wyberslegh Hall, High Lane, Cheshire in North West England, Isherwood spent his childhood in various towns where his father, a Lieutenant-Colonel in the British Army, was stationed...

) reads:
At the sight of this, your Shape stupendous,
Full of mouths and eyes, feet, thighs and bellies,
Terrible with fangs, O master,
All the worlds are fear-struck, even just as I am.
When I see you, Vishnu, omnipresent,
Shouldering the sky, in hues of rainbow,
With your mouths agape and flame-eyes staring—
All my peace is gone; my heart is troubled.


Act 2 is peppered with a repeated refrain from Pasqualita, the Oppenheimers' Tewa Indian housemaid. The text comes from a traditional Tewa song, and subsequent reiterations repeat the text with the direction changed to west, east, and south:
In the north the cloud-flower blossoms
And now the lightning flashes
And now the thunder clashes
And now the rain comes down! A-a-aha, a-a-aha, my little one.

Performance history


San Francisco premiere
The original San Francisco Opera
San Francisco Opera
San Francisco Opera is an American opera company, based in San Francisco, California.It was founded in 1923 by Gaetano Merola and is the second largest opera company in North America...

 production was directed by Peter Sellars
Peter Sellars
Peter Sellars is an American theatre director, noted for his unique contemporary stagings of classical and contemporary operas and plays...

 and conducted by Donald Runnicles
Donald Runnicles
Donald Runnicles is a Scottish conductor who has worked extensively in other countries, particularly Germany and the USA....

, with choreography by Lucinda Childs
Lucinda Childs
Lucinda Childs is an American postmodern dancer/choreographer. Her compositions are known for their minimalistic movements yet complex transitions. Childs is most famous for being able to turn the slightest movements into an intricate choreographic masterpiece...

. It featured Richard Paul Fink as Edward Teller
Edward Teller
Edward Teller was a Hungarian-American theoretical physicist, known colloquially as "the father of the hydrogen bomb," even though he did not care for the title. Teller made numerous contributions to nuclear and molecular physics, spectroscopy , and surface physics...

, Gerald Finley
Gerald Finley
-Career:He was born in Montreal and received his musical education in St. Matthew's Anglican Church, Ottawa, the University of Ottawa, King's College, Cambridge and the Royal College of Music in London, England...

 as J. Robert Oppenheimer, Thomas Glenn as Robert Wilson
Robert R. Wilson
Robert Rathbun Wilson was an American physicist who was a group leader of the Manhattan Project, a sculptor, and an architect of Fermi National Laboratory , where he was also the director from 1967–1978....

, Kristine Jepson
Kristine Jepson
Kristine Jepson is an American mezzo-soprano born in Iowa. She studied music at Indiana University and currently resides in New York City and Santa Fe, New Mexico. She has appeared in over 25 operas at houses across Europe and the United States including the Royal Opera House in London, the...

 as Kitty Oppenheimer, Eric Owens
Eric Owens (bass-baritone)
Eric Owens is an American operatic bass-baritone born July 11, 1970 in Philadelphia. He attended Central High School "247", Temple University's Boyer College of Music, and the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia...

 as General Leslie Groves
Leslie Groves
Lieutenant General Leslie Richard Groves, Jr. was a United States Army Corps of Engineers officer who oversaw the construction of the Pentagon and directed the Manhattan Project that developed the atomic bomb during World War II. As the son of a United States Army chaplain, Groves lived at a...

, James Maddalena
James Maddalena
James Maddalena is an American baritone who is chiefly associated with contemporary American opera. He gained international recognition in 1987 when he created the role of Richard Nixon at the premiere of Adams's opera Nixon in China at Houston. He has since reprised the role on many occasions,...

 as Jack Hubbard
Jack Hubbard
John H. "Jack" Hubbard was an American football player. He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1966.-External links:*...

, Jay Hunter Morris
Jay Hunter Morris
Jay Hunter Morris is a Texas-born operatic tenor.Morris was raised in Paris, Texas, and attended Paris Junior College. He also attended Baylor University, Southern Methodist University and Julliard School of Music....

 as Captain James F. Nolan, Beth Clayton
Beth Clayton
Laura Beth Clayton is an American mezzo-soprano opera singer, and a native of Malvern, Arkansas.-Education and early career:Clayton's father was a Methodist minister. She sang in church and then in musical productions in church camp and in high school...

 as the Oppenheimers' Tewa maid Pasqualita, and Seth Durant as Peter Oppenheimer (Robert Oppenheimer's son). Sets were designed by Adrianne Lobel
Adrianne Lobel
Adrianne Lobel is an American scenic designer and producer for theatre, opera, and dance known for her "very daring and creative sets."Lobel was raised in Brooklyn and took classes at the art school at the Brooklyn Museum, then worked as a draftsman at film studios...

, costumes by Dunya Ramicova, lighting by James F. Ingalls
James F. Ingalls
James F. Ingalls is a respected and prolific lighting designer who has worked extensively on Broadway, in London and at many regional theaters including The Lincoln Center, Playwrights Horizons, Goodman Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, and Steppenwolf...

, and sound by Mark Grey
Mark Grey
Mark Grey is an American Classical music composer and sound engineer. He is the composer-in-residence for the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra for the 2007–2008 season...

.

Kitty Oppenheimer's aria
Aria
An aria in music was originally any expressive melody, usually, but not always, performed by a singer. The term is now used almost exclusively to describe a self-contained piece for one voice usually with orchestral accompaniment...

, "Easter Eve, 1945", by Muriel Rukeyser
Muriel Rukeyser
Muriel Rukeyser was an American poet and political activist, best known for her poems about equality, feminism, social justice, and Judaism...

 (from her poem of the same name) was premiered by Audra McDonald
Audra McDonald
Audra Ann McDonald is an American actress and singer. She currently stars in the ABC television drama Private Practice as Dr. Naomi Bennett. She has appeared on the stage in both musicals and dramas, such as Ragtime and A Raisin in the Sun...

 in May, 2004 with the New York Philharmonic
New York Philharmonic
The New York Philharmonic is a symphony orchestra based in New York City in the United States. It is one of the American orchestras commonly referred to as the "Big Five"...

 and Adams conducting. Two extracts from the work were performed in London in August 2004, conducted by John Adams as part of the 2004 Proms season.

Subsequent productions


In June 2007 this production made its European première at De Nederlandse Opera
De Nederlandse Opera
De Nederlandse Opera , in Amsterdam, is a Dutch opera company based in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Its present home base is the Het Muziektheater, a modern building designed by Cees Dam which opened in 1986....

 in Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Amsterdam is the largest city and the capital of the Netherlands. The current position of Amsterdam as capital city of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is governed by the constitution of August 24, 1815 and its successors. Amsterdam has a population of 783,364 within city limits, an urban population...

. It then opened in December 2007 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago
Lyric Opera of Chicago
Lyric Opera of Chicago is one of the leading opera companies in the United States. It was founded in Chicago in 1952, under the name 'Lyric Theatre of Chicago' by Carol Fox, Nicolà Rescigno and Lawrence Kelly, with a season that included Maria Callas's American debut in Norma...

, again directed by Sellars, with Finley and Owens reprising their roles. Adams and Sellars made "some significant changes" to the opera and production in response to feedback from the San Francisco, Amsterdam, and Chicago productions.

A new production of the opera, directed by the film director Penny Woolcock
Penny Woolcock
Penny Woolcock is a British filmmaker, opera director, and screenwriter. She was raised in a British community in Montevideo, speaking English and going to English schools...

 and conducted by Alan Gilbert
Alan Gilbert
Alan David Gilbert AO, was a historian and academic administrator who was until June 2010 the President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Manchester....

, was performed at the Metropolitan Opera
Metropolitan Opera
The Metropolitan Opera is an opera company, located in New York City. Originally founded in 1880, the company gave its first performance on October 22, 1883. The company is operated by the non-profit Metropolitan Opera Association, with Peter Gelb as general manager...

 in New York in October 2008 and was part of the Metropolitan Opera Live in HD series on 8 November 2008. The HD
High-definition video
High-definition video or HD video refers to any video system of higher resolution than standard-definition video, and most commonly involves display resolutions of 1,280×720 pixels or 1,920×1,080 pixels...

 video of the production was later televised nationally on PBS as well, in the Great Performances at the Met series. On January 17, 2009, the Met production of the opera was heard on NPR
NPR
NPR, formerly National Public Radio, is a privately and publicly funded non-profit membership media organization that serves as a national syndicator to a network of 900 public radio stations in the United States. NPR was created in 1970, following congressional passage of the Public Broadcasting...

 as part of the Saturday afternoon Metropolitan Opera radio broadcasts
Metropolitan Opera radio broadcasts
The Metropolitan Opera radio broadcasts are a regular series of weekly broadcasts on network radio of full-length opera performances. They are transmitted live from the stage of the Metropolitan Opera in New York City...

. Penny Woolcock's production was restaged by the English National Opera
English National Opera
English National Opera is an opera company based in London, resident at the London Coliseum in St. Martin's Lane. It is one of the two principal opera companies in London, along with the Royal Opera, Covent Garden...

 in London, 25 February to 20 March 2009 with Gerald Finley
Gerald Finley
-Career:He was born in Montreal and received his musical education in St. Matthew's Anglican Church, Ottawa, the University of Ottawa, King's College, Cambridge and the Royal College of Music in London, England...

 reprising his portrayal of the lead.

On 21 and 23 November 2008, Gerald Finley and most of the Met cast reprised their roles with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra is an American orchestra based in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Robert Spano has been its music director since 2001...

 and Chorus, in a semi-staged production by James Alexander. Soprano Jessica Rivera and contralto Meredith Arwady performed the roles of Kitty Oppenheimer and Pasqualita, respectively.

The first production of the opera in Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 was premièred on 13 February 2010 at the Saarländisches Staatstheater in Saarbrücken
Saarbrücken
Saarbrücken is the capital of the state of Saarland in Germany. The city is situated at the heart of a metropolitan area that borders on the west on Dillingen and to the north-east on Neunkirchen, where most of the people of the Saarland live....

.

Roles

Role Voice type Premiere Cast, 1 October 2005
(Conductor: Donald Runnicles
Donald Runnicles
Donald Runnicles is a Scottish conductor who has worked extensively in other countries, particularly Germany and the USA....

)
J. Robert Oppenheimer baritone
Baritone
Baritone is a type of male singing voice that lies between the bass and tenor voices. It is the most common male voice. Originally from the Greek , meaning deep sounding, music for this voice is typically written in the range from the second F below middle C to the F above middle C Baritone (or...

Gerald Finley
Gerald Finley
-Career:He was born in Montreal and received his musical education in St. Matthew's Anglican Church, Ottawa, the University of Ottawa, King's College, Cambridge and the Royal College of Music in London, England...

Kitty Oppenheimer mezzo-soprano
Mezzo-soprano
A mezzo-soprano is a type of classical female singing voice whose range lies between the soprano and the contralto singing voices, usually extending from the A below middle C to the A two octaves above...

 or soprano
Soprano
A soprano is a voice type with a vocal range from approximately middle C to "high A" in choral music, or to "soprano C" or higher in operatic music. In four-part chorale style harmony, the soprano takes the highest part, which usually encompasses the melody...

Kristine Jepson
Kristine Jepson
Kristine Jepson is an American mezzo-soprano born in Iowa. She studied music at Indiana University and currently resides in New York City and Santa Fe, New Mexico. She has appeared in over 25 operas at houses across Europe and the United States including the Royal Opera House in London, the...

Gen Leslie Groves
Leslie Groves
Lieutenant General Leslie Richard Groves, Jr. was a United States Army Corps of Engineers officer who oversaw the construction of the Pentagon and directed the Manhattan Project that developed the atomic bomb during World War II. As the son of a United States Army chaplain, Groves lived at a...

bass Eric Owens
Eric Owens (bass-baritone)
Eric Owens is an American operatic bass-baritone born July 11, 1970 in Philadelphia. He attended Central High School "247", Temple University's Boyer College of Music, and the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia...

Edward Teller
Edward Teller
Edward Teller was a Hungarian-American theoretical physicist, known colloquially as "the father of the hydrogen bomb," even though he did not care for the title. Teller made numerous contributions to nuclear and molecular physics, spectroscopy , and surface physics...

dramatic baritone Richard Paul Fink
Robert R. Wilson
Robert R. Wilson
Robert Rathbun Wilson was an American physicist who was a group leader of the Manhattan Project, a sculptor, and an architect of Fermi National Laboratory , where he was also the director from 1967–1978....

tenor
Tenor
The tenor is a type of male singing voice and is the highest male voice within the modal register. The typical tenor voice lies between C3, the C one octave below middle C, to the A above middle C in choral music, and up to high C in solo work. The low extreme for tenors is roughly B2...

Thomas Glenn
Jack Hubbard baritone James Maddalena
James Maddalena
James Maddalena is an American baritone who is chiefly associated with contemporary American opera. He gained international recognition in 1987 when he created the role of Richard Nixon at the premiere of Adams's opera Nixon in China at Houston. He has since reprised the role on many occasions,...

Captain James Nolan tenor Jay Hunter Morris
Jay Hunter Morris
Jay Hunter Morris is a Texas-born operatic tenor.Morris was raised in Paris, Texas, and attended Paris Junior College. He also attended Baylor University, Southern Methodist University and Julliard School of Music....

Pasqualita mezzo-soprano or contralto
Contralto
Contralto is the deepest female classical singing voice, with the lowest tessitura, falling between tenor and mezzo-soprano. It typically ranges between the F below middle C to the second G above middle C , although at the extremes some voices can reach the E below middle C or the second B above...

Beth Clayton
Beth Clayton
Laura Beth Clayton is an American mezzo-soprano opera singer, and a native of Malvern, Arkansas.-Education and early career:Clayton's father was a Methodist minister. She sang in church and then in musical productions in church camp and in high school...



Adams had written the role of Kitty Oppenheimer for the mezzo-soprano
Mezzo-soprano
A mezzo-soprano is a type of classical female singing voice whose range lies between the soprano and the contralto singing voices, usually extending from the A below middle C to the A two octaves above...

 Lorraine Hunt Lieberson
Lorraine Hunt Lieberson
Lorraine Hunt Lieberson was an American mezzo-soprano, known for the dramatic power of her vocal artistry as well as her commitment to performing infrequently-heard Baroque era and contemporary works...

. However, she was unable to commit to the project due to her health (she died soon after the work premiered). The work was sung in the world premiere by mezzo Kristine Jepson
Kristine Jepson
Kristine Jepson is an American mezzo-soprano born in Iowa. She studied music at Indiana University and currently resides in New York City and Santa Fe, New Mexico. She has appeared in over 25 operas at houses across Europe and the United States including the Royal Opera House in London, the...

. For the second major production, at De Nederlandse Opera
De Nederlandse Opera
De Nederlandse Opera , in Amsterdam, is a Dutch opera company based in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Its present home base is the Het Muziektheater, a modern building designed by Cees Dam which opened in 1986....

, Adams reworked the role for a soprano, Jessica Rivera
Jessica Rivera
Jessica Rivera is an American soprano of Peruvian ancestry. She is a 1996 graduate of Pepperdine University, and earned her Master of Music degree in 1998 from the University of Southern California's Flora L. Thornton School of Music...

. For the Metropolitan Opera Premiere, the role was again sung by a mezzo, Sasha Cooke.

Doctor Atomic Symphony


In 2007, Adams adapted the opera into the Doctor Atomic Symphony. Music was taken from the overture, various interludes and orchestral settings were made of arias like Oppenheimer's signature "Batter My Heart." The work was first premiered by the BBC Symphony Orchestra
BBC Symphony Orchestra
The BBC Symphony Orchestra is the principal broadcast orchestra of the British Broadcasting Corporation and one of the leading orchestras in Britain.-History:...

 and conducted by John Adams
John Adams
John Adams was an American lawyer, statesman, diplomat and political theorist. A leading champion of independence in 1776, he was the second President of the United States...

 on 21 August 2007, at a BBC Proms concert. The work was later performed at Carnegie Hall
Carnegie Hall
Carnegie Hall is a concert venue in Midtown Manhattan in New York City, United States, located at 881 Seventh Avenue, occupying the east stretch of Seventh Avenue between West 56th Street and West 57th Street, two blocks south of Central Park....

 in Spring 2008. Originally composed in four movements and lasting 45 minutes, the symphony was revised by Adams to just three movements (played without a break) and 25 minutes' length. A recording of this version was released by Nonesuch Records
Nonesuch Records
Nonesuch Records is an American record label, owned by Warner Music Group and distributed by Warner Bros. Records.-Company history:Nonesuch was founded in 1964 by Jac Holzman to produce "fine records at the same price as a trade paperback", which would be half the price of a normal LP...

 on 20 July 2009.

Recording

  • 2008: DVD widescreen DTS sound; or Blu-ray widescreen Dolby True HD sound with Gerald Finley as J. Robert Oppenheimer; conductor: Lawrence Renes
    Lawrence Renes
    Lawrence Renes is a Dutch conductor. Renes studied violin at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam and conducting at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague, from which he graduated cum laude in 1993....

    ; Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus; Studio: Opus Arte

External links