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opera Doctor Atomic by Adams

Patrick Davin, Lucinda Childs – Dietrich Henschel (J. Robert Oppenheimer), Robert Bork (Edward Teller)...

Doctor Atomic by Adams Patrick Davin, Lucinda Childs – Dietrich Henschel (J. Robert Oppenheimer), Robert Bork (Edward Teller)...


A 2014 French production of John Adams and Peter Sellars' opera Doctor Atomic at the Opéra national du Rhin.

Doctor Atomic is John Adam's portrait of the inventor of the atomic bomb, J. Robert Oppenheimer, interpreted by Dietrich Henschel in this production. Thanks to Oppenheimer, the world entered a new age: the nuclear era. Terrified by her husband's project, Kitty Oppenheimer (Anna Grevelius) is left alone and reflects on the contradictions of peace, war, and love. An opera treating both contemporary and timeless issues, Doctor Atomic warns of the fall of the modern world, with love stories and broken hearts woven in. Peter Sellars libretto borrows texts from poets like Charles Baudelaire, John Donne, and Muriel Rukeyser.

It was premiered at the San Francisco Opera in 2005. This French production by the Opéra national du Rhin opened its 2013-2014 season and included the participation of the Chœurs de l'OnR, Chœurs de l'OSM, the Orchestre Symphonique de Mulhouse and many talented singers.

Picture: © A. Kaiser.

French premiere – New production.


  • Lucinda Childs | Stage director
  • Bruno de Lavenère | Set designer, Costume designer
  • David Debrinay | Lighting
  • Dietrich Henschel | J. Robert Oppenheimer
  • Robert Bork | Edward Teller
  • Marlin Miller | Robert Wilson
  • Anna Grevelius | Kitty Oppenheimer
  • Jovita Vaskeviciute | Pasqualita
  • Peter Sidhom | General Leslie Groves
  • Brian Bannatyne-Scott | Jack Hubbard
  • John Graham-Hall | Captain James Nolan
  • Chœurs de l'Opéra national du Rhin
  • Sandrine Abello | Chorus director
  • Orchestre Symphonique de Mulhouse
  • Patrick Davin | Conductor


  • John Adams, Doctor Atomic
    • Act I
    • I, 1: "We believed that "Matter can be neither created nor destroyed""
    • I, 2: "Am I in your light?"
    • I, 3: "What the hell is wrong with the weather?"
    • I, 4: "Batter my heart"
    • Act II
    • II, 1: "Wary of time O it seizes the soul tonight"
    • II, 2: "In the north the cloud-flower blossoms"
    • II, 3: "The program has been plagued from the start"


  • Directed by:
    • Stéphane Vérité
  • Venue: Opéra national du Rhin (Strasbourg, France)
  • Production date: 2014
  • Duration: 2 h 48 min
  • Production: © Opéra National du Rhin – Oxymore
  • Available version(s): EN
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