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The Exploratorium and the San Francisco Opera Explore Doctor Atomic

For Immediate Release:
September 01, 2005

Media Available
Jenny Slafkosky (415) 528-4367

The Exploratorium and the San Francisco Opera Explore Doctor Atomic

Doctor Atomic: Science, Morals and Music
A Discussion with Composer John Adams, Librettist Peter Sellars,
and Pulitzer-winning author Richard Rhodes
September 13, 7pm at Cowell Theater

On October 1, 2005, the San Francisco Opera will present the world premiere of Doctor Atomic, a new opera by composer John Adams and director and librettist Peter Sellars. Set in July 1945 in the New Mexico desert, the opera focuses on the tightly knit group of physicists who built and tested the first atomic bomb under the leadership of J. Robert Oppenheimer. After years of painstaking work, the physicists are now waiting through the quiet hours before the bomb's first test explosion and confront the moral crisis of its impending use.

On Tuesday, September 13, the Exploratorium and the San Francisco Opera present Doctor Atomic: Science, Morals and Music, a discussion with composer John Adams, librettist Peter Sellars and Richard Rhodes, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book The Making of the Atomic Bomb, to explore the historical, scientific, and musical background of the opera. Kip Cranna, musical administrator at the San Francisco Opera, will moderate. The event takes place in Ft. Mason’s Cowell Theater at 7pm. Advance tickets are $25 for general public ($20 for Exploratorium and SF Opera members/donors). For all advance tickets call Exploratorium reservations at 415/561-0308. Tickets at the door are $25 for all.

As part of the partnership with the Opera, the Exploratorium has created a Web site annotating the opera's synopsis, and will provide links to select portions of the libretto. Using a range of media, these annotations will explore the science behind the bomb, examine the social impacts, and touch on the history of individuals and events after the bomb, including the creation of the Exploratorium.

Go to www.exploratorium.edu/doctoratomic starting September 1, 2005.

Background on Exploratorium and the Oppenheimers
The Exploratorium’s history is intimately tied to that of J. Robert Oppenheimer, the subject of Doctor Atomic: Frank Oppenheimer, the Exploratorium's founder, was J. Robert's younger brother. Both innovative physicists, they worked together on the bomb and shared the last tense minutes before the successful atomic test changed the world forever. Frank returned to research and teaching after the race to build the bomb was won; in 1969, twenty-four years later, he opened the Exploratorium's doors for the first time — the culmination of a life devoted to understanding the world's fundamental phenomena.

Frank Oppenheimer, as a distinguished experimental physicist and university professor, founded the Exploratorium in San Francisco primarily to share his own joy in discovery. Frank Oppenheimer’s range of experience — which encompassed both the theoretical and the hands-on, practical side of science, and a knowledge of education and how students learn — eventually gave rise to the Exploratorium. It is dedicated to inspiring people to understand science. The Exploratorium is credited with fathering the hands-on, informal approach to science teaching and learning — an approach that has transformed the notion of what museums are around the world.

Hours of Operation & New Evening Hours
Tuesday-Sunday 10am-5pm;  every Thursday evening adults only (ages 18 and up) 6pm-10pm.

$29 for adults, with lower rates for SF Bay Area residents, youth, seniors, students, teachers and the disabled. Tickets available at the door and advance tickets available online at www.exploratorium.edu/visit/tickets.

Getting Here
The Exploratorium is easily accessible by public transit. Convenient parking is available nearby. For more information, visit www.exploratorium.edu/visit/location-directions

About the Exploratorium
The Exploratorium is the global leader in informal learning, igniting curiosity and inspiring creativity in people of all ages. The world-renowned science museum creates original, interactive exhibits, on display at more than 1,000 science centers, museums and public spaces around the world. Dedicated to education reform in and out of the classroom, the Exploratorium is a premier professional development center for educators and a creator of award-winning educational resources. Since 1969, the Exploratorium has influenced generations of entrepreneurs, artists, scientists, teachers, students, children, museum professionals and everyday doers, reaching nearly 180 million people annually from around the globe. On April 17, 2013, the Exploratorium opened at Pier 15 in the heart of San Francisco's Embarcadero, where it will celebrate a new era of experiences that encourage critical thinking and awaken wonder for generations to come. For more information, visit www.exploratorium.edu/visit.

Pier 15
San Francisco
California 94111
(415) 528-4444 telephone

Contact Us:
Jenny Slafkosky (415) 528-4367