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14 November 2008


Dan Johnson

I think everybody's criticisms are right, and yet... as you say, the score is SO strong. In spite of everything, Dr Atomic is a dazzling work.

In both productions, there have been glimpses of something truly great—'Batter My Heart' in Sellars, despite the absurd calisthenics, was truly gripping, and the 'falling' aria in Woolcock was movingly choreographed and competently staged. There have, after all, been talkier or more inert masterpieces in the history of opera, and many of them have been rescued by ingenious directors. Maybe before we're old men we'll get to see a staging that patches up all the cracks. In the meantime, we can watch the DVD with our eyes closed.

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