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Santa Fe Opera Role Debut as Dr. Robert Oppenheimer in John Adams’ ‘Doctor Atomic’

Ryan McKinny returns to Santa Fe Opera for his debut in the title role of Dr. Robert Oppenheimer in Peter Sellar’s new production of John Adams’ Doctor Atomic. Through July 14 to August 16, Maestro Matthew Aucoin will conduct an esteemed roster of artists including Julia Bullock as Kitty Oppenheimer, Benjamin Bliss as Robert Wilson, Meredith Arwady as Pasqualita, Andrew Harris as Edward Teller, Daniel Okulitch as General Groves, and Tim Mix as Frank Hubbard.

Peter Sellars, director as well as librettist and a longtime collaborator of Adams, encapsulates this dramatic and complex story using original personal memoirs, technical manuals, declassified government documents, poetry by Baudelaire and Muriel Rukeyser, the Holy Sonnets of John Donne, Songs of the Tewa, and the Hindu Bhagavad Gita.

McKinny has said about his portrayal of the nuclear physicist saying:

“[Oppenheimer] was a complex guy. He was also kind of a spiritual person. He was kind of an amateur philosopher. I think at first he was driven by his ego. I think he struggled. Once the bomb was dropped in Japan, he became an advocate of disarmament.” (Albuquerque Journal)