Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Pitter Patter A-Bomb

Batter My Heart...er...I mean Dr. Atomic was broadcast on my local PBS station last night. I missed the simulcast back in October. It would have been great to see it on the big screen and unedited. PBS had it down to a sleek 2:48 from 3:25.

Batter My Heart was easily my favorite song, because, I have to admit, I am not that experienced with opera (Let alone opera on TV where the camera provides your line of sight and not you.) I do like John Adams' music, but Opera as a form is perplexing because you have to consider what the voice is doing with the music. For instance in Batter My Heart the vocal lines and music are pretty consonant, meaning each gives the other space. At most other parts I am completely lost. Perhaps I am to listen to the vocal lines and music as one line? The major narrative themes were ringing through. So I am bolstered by that. I made it through the poetics unscathed, but taxed. I suppose Dr. Atomic is not a starter opera. The music itself was stunning of course.

There is also a documentary about the making of the Dr. Atomic called Wonders Are Many. You may view trailers here or here.

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