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Title: The Manipulation of Time Perception in John Adams's Doctor Atomic
Authors: Lintott, Robert Warren
Advisors: Haldey, Olga
Department/Program: Music
Type: Thesis
Sponsors: Digital Repository at the University of Maryland
University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
Subjects: Music
Musical Performances
American Studies
Keywords: Doctor Atomic
John Adams
Peter Sellars
San Francisco Opera
Issue Date: 2010
Abstract: This thesis is the first scholarly study of John Adams's 2005 opera Doctor Atomic. The study includes a brief history of the opera. It then concentrates specifically on one aspect of the work: time perception. Using a newly developed comprehensive methodology, I examine the manipulation of "clock time," "stage time," and "psychological time" in the libretto, the score, and the staging of Doctor Atomic. Thus, a dichotomy between poetry and prose in the "found" texts of Peter Sellars's libretto is reflected in a similar psychological time dichotomy of "now" vs. the timeless. Adams's score accentuates this point by relying on compositional techniques of the Baroque, as well as effectively elongates stage time in the final countdown scene. Finally, the analysis of the 2007 Amsterdam production of the opera reveals that a combination of props, blocking, and lighting in Sellars's staging contributes to the manipulation of the audience's perception of time.
Appears in Collections:Music Theses and Dissertations
UMD Theses and Dissertations

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