DC at Night

DC at Night

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

It Isn't Over Until the Fat, Mighty Whale Sings

Capt. Ahab and his doomed crew
In American culture and the arts, Moby Dick has been many things. Of course, first it was the classic 19th Century Herman Melville masterpiece novel of the obsessed, megalomaniacal sea captain Ahab's relentless hunt for the giant white whale that had severed his leg and stolen his soul. Then it was the popular 1950s movie starring Gregory Peck.

Now, in the 21st Century, it is an American opera. And this Saturday, Moby Dick, with songs by Jake Heggie and libretto by Gene Scheer, debuts at the Kennedy Center.

Last week, selected members of the Washington National Opera cast previewed songs from the show on the Millennium Stage. The cast performed 5 selections. They were:
  • "Greemhorn with me ..." from Act I, scene 3 featuring Norman Garrett and Chad Johnson
  • "Well Stub, wise Stub ... " from Act I, scene 5 featuring Christian Bowers and Jacqueline Echols
  • "Captain Ahab? I must speak with you" from Act I, scene 7 featuring Norman Garrett
  • "Poor Rover" from Act II, scene 2 featuring Jacqueline Echols and and Chad Johnson and
  • "Ah, Starbuck, it is a mild wind" from Act II, scene 6 featuring Corey Evan Rotz and Norman Garrett
In performances in other cities, much interest has been focused on the innovative, creative stage set designed by Robert Brill. Here, The Washington Post's Anne Midgette interviews Brill about the monumental task of staging the opera, which had its world premiere in 2010. And here Midgette gets Heggie to talk about the production.


Two fantastical sea scenes from Moby Dick

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