The opera focuses on the last days leading to the explosion of the first atomic test bomb, in June and July 1945. It is centered about J. Robert Oppenheimer (1904-1967), the scientific director of the Manhattan project, and the founder of the Los Alamos research lab. Let's get some local pride going: Oppie was a member of the Berkeley faculty, as many of the top scientists at Los Alamos (the UC still runs that lab in New Mexico). He lived in the same east bay hills as John Adams, the composer of the opera. We hear that the UC is now considering adding Opera spots to the Nobel parking lot, in case another member gets the honor.

Photos by Terrence McCarthy- SF Opera