A rent-an-opera again (from Saarbrücken this time), but what an opera!

The libretto of Doctor Atomic by Peter Sellars, copy-pasted from documents, interviews and poems was mesmerizing. Especially the more scientific and technical texts were fascinating and exciting, and I felt I couldn't get enough of them. The universe of sound, by John Adams, was just right. The music in itself was fairly traditional, but then there were the 'sound effects'...

There was a bleak and tense wartime atmosphere, with drabness and military precision, and hysteria underneath. I wonder why it attracts me, like Claude Lanzmann's Shoah years ago?

The use of tables was nifty, and the end with darkness falling was very satisfying (I couldn't quite believe there would be a mushroom cloud, but maybe a flash of blinding light...) As it was, I was pleased - although the Japanese voice asking for water was a bit too neat.

Those who had left empty seats don't know what they missed.


I was far from surprised that our soccer-loving, graffiti-painting Minister of Culture and Sport, Paavo Arhinmäki, had selected Doctor Atomic for his first visit at the Finnish National Opera. I wonder how he liked his second opera ever, as he refused to comment it to the press. What would a person, who likes Oasis, Blur and Lily Allen, think? The Opera made a Paavo Rap to welcome him, in Finnish naturally.