Coming soon... Dr. Atomic!

Saturday, July 14
Meet at Rendezvous Point at 4 p.m. (see below)

An amazing eventing awaits you. A gathering of good friends old and new, a delicious meal served under blue sky and Zia sun, drinks to provoke conviviality and deep thoughts, and music that transcends heart and mind and consciousness. Below you will find information about the opera and about our tailgating experience. 


About the Opera

Doctor Atomic concerns the final hours leading up to the first atomic bomb explosion at the Alamagordo test site in New Mexico in July of 1945. The focal characters are the physicist and Manhattan Project director, Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer; his wife Kitty; Edward Teller; and General Leslie Groves, the US Army commander of the project. 

Completely alone, Oppenheimer recalls a sonnet by John Donne, “Batter my heart, three-person’d God.” It is the poem that inspired him to name the test site, “Trinity.”

The Libretto

The libretto of Doctor Atomic was created by Peter Sellars, drawing on original source material, including personal memoirs, recorded interviews, technical manuals of nuclear physics, declassified government documents, and the poetry of Muriel Rukeyser, an American poet and contemporary of Oppenheimer.

Oppenheimer learned Sanskrit in order to read the ancient Hindu epic “Song of the Blessed One,” or Bhagavad Gita, in the original. Sellars incorporated parts of the Bhagavad Gita into the Doctor Atomic libretto.

After the war, Oppenheimer told an interviewer that when the bomb exploded at Trinity, “I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture the Bhagavad Gita; Vishnu is trying to persuade the prince that he should do his duty, and to impress him, takes on his multi-armed form and says, ‘now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.’”

Read more about the Libretto and it's creation from EarboxOpera-Arias and The Metropolitan Opera

Dr. Atomic is an opera by contemporary American composer John Adams and is performed in English.


The Plot

The Manhattan Project laboratory at Los Alamos, New Mexico. June, 1945: Work on the atomic bomb approaches its culminating point. Physicists, engineers and US military personnel are all laboring under intense pressure from Washington in order to have the bomb tested and ready for use within the next month....

The scientists’ talk returns to a unsettling concern: whether or not the detonation might set off an uncontrolled chain reaction ending in the destruction of the entire earth’s atmosphere....

Oppenheimer suddenly is overcome by a terrifying vision of Vishnu described in the Bhagavad Gita: “At the sight of this, your Shape stupendous, full of mouths and eyes…terrible with fangs…when I see you, Vishnu…with your mouths agape and flame-eyes staring–all my peace is gone; my heart is troubled.”...

At Zero minus sixty seconds ... Base Camp resembles an outpost of the dead: scientists and Army personnel are scattered about, hunkered in their shallow bunkers. There is no movement or whisper of activity, only the rhythmic voice of the countdown announcer over the loudspeaker....

Read the full synopsis at Earbox

The Meal and Post-Opera Specifics


Dining Theme and Contributions

The theme is "mid century modern cuisine" ala Betty Crocker as your best hostess. 

  • Deviled eggs - Julie & Amy
  • Pineapple marshmallow coleslaw - Julie & Amy


  • Prosecco and non-alcoholic Punch Spritzers - Julie & Amy
  • Suggested cocktail concoctions include: 

Opera Seat Assignments

Joyce Horsman, Larry Horsman, Amy Pallante and Julie Chiron are sitting in XXX.

Melisa Kraai, Djuna XX are sitting.


Tailgating Tips

IMPORTANT: to secure parking spots together, we must meet prior to entry and drive in together.

We will meet here:


Parking FAQ

Parking lots open three hours prior to each performance for patrons to enjoy dining on-site with spectacular scenery and sunsets. A limited number of picnic tables adjacent to parking lots are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Tailgaters are welcome to set up a small table with chairs adjacent to their parked cars.

Live it before you arrive:


The Opera’s parking lots open three hours prior to the performance. Parking is free, as is a shuttle between the lower parking lot and the theater entrance. Here are a few of the rules, most notably: Parties with more than one vehicle must arrive together (no parking spaces may be saved).

The parking lot is available starting three hours before the performance time.

  • General parking spaces are first come, first served. 

  • Picnic tables adjacent to the parking lots are available on a first-come, first-served basis. (Please be considerate of others waiting to use the picnic facilities. In order to provide access to as many as possible, patrons are encouraged to share tables.)

  • Most tailgate setups are accommodated directly in front or back of your vehicle. Parties with more than one vehicle must arrive together (no parking spaces may be saved).

  • No charcoal fires are allowed.

  • Vehicle alarms which activate during a performance will be disconnected.