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Great Performances | Moby Dick From the San Francisco Opera

Watch Friday, November 1, 2013 at 9pm on WMHT TV.

Composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer’s award-winning opera Moby-Dick will be broadcast as part of the 2013 PBS Arts Fall Festival.

Composed in two acts and sung in English, Heggie and Scheer’s opera adaptation brings a thrilling new musical dimension to one of the towering classics of American literature, Herman Melville’s celebrated novel Moby-Dick; or, The Whale.

The Bay Area premiere ran for eight performances in the fall of 2012 at the historic War Memorial Opera House. San Francisco Opera Principal Guest Conductor Patrick Summers presided over a vocally resplendent cast of singers including Jay Hunter Morris (Captain Ahab), Stephen Costello (Greenhorn), Jonathan Lemalu (Queequeg), Morgan Smith (Starbuck), Talise Trevigne (Pip), Matthew O’Neill (Flask) and Robert Orth (Stubb), with The San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus (Ian Robertson, Chorus Director), in a stage production directed by Leonard Foglia, choreographed by Keturah Stickann and designed by Robert Brill (sets), Jane Greenwood (costumes), Donald Holder (lighting), and Elaine J. McCarthy (projections). 

Bay Area music critics warmly embraced the opera’s premiere. “The result is a masterpiece of clarity and intensity, with a score that is at once thematically compact and richly inventive,” wrote the San Francisco Chronicle.  “…‘Moby-Dick’ boasts an ace cast and whiz-bang production values: digital projections that conjure the vast rolling seas; physical sets with mile-high masts and Brooklyn-Bridge grids of rigging…‘Moby’ is awesome in a 21st century Broadway kind of way,” extolled the San Jose Mercury News.

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