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Classical Notes

"You're not an opera composer without being a little bit insane."

Posted at 10:34 AM on October 31, 2008 by Gillian Martin

American composer John Adams is getting a lot of press lately: the new production of his opera Doctor Atomic opened at the Metropolitan Opera this month, and his autobiography Hallelujah Junction: An American Life was just released, too.

Click here for a recent interview with Adams on salon.com, in which he talks about the importance of emotion in music, among other things:

Music is above and beyond all else the art of feeling. A great composer can bring you to a level where you are emotionally exposed. If you have a great composer like Mozart or Wagner, and introduce deep subject matter, as Mozart does with "Don Giovanni" with rape and sexual assault, or class warfare in "The Marriage of Figaro," or spiritual transformation in "The Magic Flute," and unite great feeling to the music, then you can have an overwhelming and at times life-changing experience in opera.

Look for Doctor Atomic in a movie theater near you on November 8th, as part of the Metropolitan Opera's Live in HD series.

Read more about the opera here. Read reviews for it and against it.