Saturday, November 08, 2008

Dr. Atomic

First, the simulcast. This is a very cool thing. The New York Metropolitan Opera offers live HD simulcasts of select performances in movie theaters around the country. In addition to the opera, the simulcast provides a view of the New York audience as they await the start of the opera and the second act, a behind the scenes view as the maestro is called to the pit and special intermission interviews with the lead and the composer. It is an awesome way to see New York Metropolitan Operas without the expense and hassles of travel to New York.

The opera was a bit of a disappointment. It's the story of the few days leading up to the Trinity test of the atomic bomb at Los Alamos and we were all very intrigued by the subject matter. The staging was visually engaging but the tempo of the opera was too slow for our tastes. We all felt that Kitty's role was puzzling and overdone. I felt that, in trying to capture the angst of creating such a destructive force, the opera made Oppenheimer look unbalanced.

We are willing to acknowledge that, since we're not really opera aficionados, perhaps some of our criticisms stem from a lack of familiarity with the genre.

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