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Curtis Opera Theatre Presents the Philadelphia Premiere of Doctor Atomic March 2 and 4

John Adams’s Compelling Drama Captures the Conflicted Soul of an Era


Jonathan McCullough as Robert Oppenheimer in Doctor Atomic

PHILADELPHIA—February 24, 2017—At the dawn of the nuclear age, scientists at Los Alamos prepare to test the first atomic bomb while pondering the massive destructive power of the force they will soon unleash. The Curtis Opera Theatre presents the Philadelphia premiere of John Adams’s Doctor Atomic on March 2 and 4 at 7:30pm in the Kimmel Center’s Perelman Theater. “A moving and compelling work of moral, as well as musical, grandeur” (Daily Telegraph), Adams’s opera, with a libretto by Peter Sellars, has become an iconic work in American contemporary opera. 

Timothy Myers leads the Curtis Symphony Orchestra and R.B. Schlather directs, with scenic design by Paul Tate dePoo III, costume design by Terese Wadden, lighting design by JAX Messenger, and sound design by Michael Kiley. Elizabeth Braden of Opera Philadelphia is the chorus master. This fully staged production is sung in English with supertitles. This production is sponsored in part by Allen R. and Judy Brick Freedman. The Curtis Opera Theatre season is sponsored by The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation and the Wyncote Foundation.

Tickets, priced $10 and $35, are available through the Kimmel Center Box Office, Kimmelcenter.org org (215) 893-1999.

Timothy Myers (conductor) is the artistic director and music director of North Carolina Opera. One of the youngest artistic leaders in American opera, he has broadened the company’s repertoire and introduced innovative and stimulating productions.

Mr. Myers’s recent and upcoming engagements include the Atlanta, Baltimore, North Carolina, Portland, Toledo, and Tulsa symphony orchestras and the Malaysian Philharmonic. Opera engagements include Wexford Festival Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, Washington National Opera, Wolf Trap, and the workshop of a new work by Ricky Ian Gordon for the Metropolitan Opera. In 2016 he conducted Capriccio for Curtis Opera Theatre and Opera Philadelphia. A seasoned collaborator in developing new works, he recently conducted the world premieres of Ricky Ian Gordon’s A Coffin in Egypt at Houston Grand Opera; Daniel Crozier’s With Blood, With Ink at Fort Worth Opera; and John Supko’s All Souls at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

Mr. Myers’s other engagements have included the Beijing National Center for the Performing Arts; the Jerusalem and Milwaukee symphony orchestras; the Brooklyn and Johannesburg philharmonics; the opera companies of Palm Beach, Anchorage, and Asheville; Music Academy of the West; and the Wolf Trap and Central City festivals. He served for two years as associate conductor of the Castleton Festival under his mentor, Lorin Maazel; and for three years as principal guest conductor of Opera Africa in Johannesburg. He has held assistant or associate positions with the New York Philharmonic, New York City Opera, and the American and BBC symphony orchestras.

R.B. Schlather (stage director) is an artist in residence at National Sawdust (Williamsburg, Brooklyn) this season, directing Vasco Mendonca’s The House Taken Over, Philip Glass’s Madrigal Opera, and a workshop deconstructing Handel’s Ariodante in preparation for a performance installation in New York City. He has been commissioned by Opera Philadelphia to develop a performance installation with composer David Hertzberg for the Barnes Foundation, slated to premiere in September 2017. His 2016 staging of David Lang’s The Little Match Girl Passion was commissioned and produced by Miami-based Art Song and Vocal Chamber Music series IlluminArts as a week-long performance installation at the Perez Art Museum in Miami.

Mr. Schlather has professional affiliations with the Bard Music Festival, Opera Philadelphia, Boston Lyric Opera, Gran Teatre del Liceu, English National Opera, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Canadian Opera Company, Tanglewood Music Festival, New York City Opera, Gotham Chamber Opera, Chicago Opera Theater, Portland Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Le Poisson Rouge, Salon/Sanctuary Concerts, and Ash Lawn Opera.

The Curtis Opera Theatre, under the artistic direction of Mikael Eliasen, works with established professional directors and designers to create fresh interpretations of standard repertoire and contemporary works. All of Curtis’s 25 voice and opera students are cast repeatedly each season, receiving a rare level of performance experience on stage and through frequent collaborations with Opera Philadelphia, Curtis on Tour, and the Curtis Symphony Orchestra. As a result Curtis graduates have sung with opera companies all over the world, including La Scala, Covent Garden, the Vienna Staatsoper, Houston Grand Opera, the San Francisco Opera, and the Metropolitan Opera.

CURTIS OPERA THEATRE: Doctor Atomic by John Adams 

Thursday, March 2 at 7:30 p.m. 
Saturday, March 4 at 7:30 p.m. 
Perelman Theater at the Kimmel Center, Broad and Spruce Streets, Philadelphia

Timothy Myers, conductor
R.B. Schlather, stage director
Paul Tate dePoo III, scenic designer
Terese Wadden, costume designer
JAX Messenger, lighting designer
Michael Kiley, sound designer
Elizabeth Braden, chorus master


Edward Teller Tyler Zimmerman
Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer Johnathan McCullough
Robert Wilson Evan Johnson
Kitty Oppenheimer Siena Miller
General Leslie Groves Vartan Gabrielian
Frank Hubbard Dogukan Kuran
Captain James Nolan Jamez McCorkle
Pasqualita Sophia Fiuza Hunt
Robert and Kitty's Daughter Frances Yee*
Robert and Kitty's Son Aleksandr Gateniuk*
* guest artist  

Ticket information
Single tickets: $10, $35 sold by the Kimmel Center Box Office, Kimmelcenter.org or (215) 893-1999.


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