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Dr Atomic goes off in San Francisco

John Adams's long-awaited new opera Dr Atomic was premiered in San Fransisco last Saturday. The opera depicts the build up to the first tests of the atomic bomb in the desert of New Mexico.

Most reviews to date have had high praise for Adams' music, which continues his move into a more complex and disonant style, whilst being more lukewarm about the libretto which, according to Andrew Clements "seem to blur the distinction between opera and oratorio, between something designed for a theatre and a score intended for the concert hall."

Criticism of the libretto was always on the cards after Adams's previous librettist, Alice Goodman, pulled out, claiming the piece was anti-semitic. A curious turn of events, as this was the very criticism levelled at her libretto for Adams's opera Death of Klinghoffer.

Review links:,11712,1584094,00.html,0,3507695.story


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