The Met Live in HD brings Doctor Atomic to audiences at Fairfield University's Quick Center for the Arts on Sunday, November 9


 

"...Mr. Adams's most complex and masterly music." The New York Times

The historic Met premiere of the Pulitzer-prize winning composer John Adams' daring contemporary opera "Doctor Atomic" has been called, "A hit at the Met!" by the Associated Press, "A masterpiece" by New York Magazine and "Uncommonly beautiful" by The New Yorker. Acclaimed mezzo-soprano Susan Graham hosts the live broadcast in two encore performances at Fairfield University's Quick Center for the Arts on Sunday, Nov. 9 at 1:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.  There is open seating only and tickets are $22 adults, $20 seniors, $15 students and children.

Anthony Tommasini of The New York Times, wrote in his review of the opening night performance, "The impressive baritone Gerald Finley, who created the daunting lead role unforgettably, brings his portrayal to the Met, grown even richer, more vocally visceral and emotionally nuanced..." The review continues with praise for the work of conductor Alan Gilbert, the New York Philharmonic's music director designate, in his overdue Met debut, who draws a performance "from the Met orchestra and chorus (that) is a revelation." 

It is 1945 in the New Mexico desert and a group of young scientists and the military, led by the brilliant physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer, prepare to test the first nuclear bomb. As the moment of the test draws near, a resistance to the Manhattan Project's mission is growing.  Finley is joined by Sasha Cook as Kitty Oppenheimer, Richard Paul Fink as the physicist Edward Teller; and in their Met debuts are Eric Owens as General Leslie Groves and Meredith Arwady, who plays Pasqualita, the Oppenheimer's Tewa maid.

Penny Woolcock, an award-winning British TV and film director who worked with Adams on the 2003 film of his opera "The Death of Klinghoffer," is making both her Met and her opera-directing debut with this new production. The libretto for "Doctor Atomic" is by Peter Sellars, who adapted the text from original sources, including declassified government files and conversations with people who worked on the Manhattan Project.

Jeremy Eichler of The Boston Globe, credits Adams with mastering, "...a curious brand of alchemy ... one that transmutes the dry, hard factness of the past into something more vital and vibrating ..." He continues with an analysis of the complexities achieved in, "'Doctor Atomic,' a hauntingly powerful, deeply humane and eloquent work (that) maintains a kind of dual-consciousness: We are drawn into the moment, full of empathy for these young, brilliant, and often conflicted scientists caught up in events much larger than themselves. And at the same time we watch, of course, from the future, looking back at an immensely fateful hour with a mournful knowledge of how this story will unfold. And it's all within the music."

Prior to the performance of the one act opera and at the conclusion, HD cameras take movie-goers backstage for a rare behind-the-scenes view of the Met with host Susan Graham.

Tickets are available online at www.quickcenter.com or by calling the Box Office at (203) 254-4010.  The toll free number is 1-877-ARTS-396.

Coming next on Saturday, Nov. 22, is a new production of Berlioz's "La Damnation de Faust."

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Media Contact: Joan Grant, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2950, jgrant@fairfield.edu

Posted on October 29, 2008

Vol. 41, No. 110