Doctor Atomic | The Metropolitan Opera

Doctor Atomic | The Metropolitan Opera

On July 16, 1945, an atomic bomb was tested for the first time in the deserts of New Mexico; within a few short weeks, the entire world would have to confront what this monstrous invention meant for humanity. Yet in Doctor Atomic, composer John Adams takes the audience back to the days immediately before the bomb’s first test to explore a more intimate side of this momentous event. The opera’s music is an excellent example of Adams’s signature “minimalist” style, while the libretto spotlights the complex feelings and conflicted loyalties of the Manhattan Project physicists—a small group of people tasked with developing the most destructive weapon the world had ever seen.

Watch John Adams’s opera Doctor Atomic, get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the Met’s production, and use the accompanying Educator Guide to explore a defining moment of the twentieth century through the work of one of America’s greatest living composers.

Curricular Information
Content Area: 
Grade Level: