ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The glowing menace of the mushroom cloud mixed genius with death.
John Adams’ “Doctor Atomic” shows the father of nuclear weapons in all his complexity; the charismatic leader, the cold calculation and the horror at what his work had wrought.
The dramatic piece opens for the first time in the state of the bomb’s gestation and birth at the Santa Fe Opera on Saturday, July 14. The opera tracks a 24-hour period leading into the night of the first atomic test.
First commissioned as an “American Faust” by the San Francisco Opera in 2005, Robert Oppenheimer’s story bears little resemblance to the pact with the devil that Goethe imagined. These young scientists saw themselves as heroes in a race to save the world from Hitler.