Where They Blow: After the White Whale

by tdo

Do you remember what you were doing a year ago? We certainly do! On April 30, 2010, the Dallas Opera premiered Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer’s revolutionary MOBY-DICK on the magnificent stage of the Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center. The critically acclaimed drama was “a whale of a hit” according to the Associated Press and D Magazine called it “an extraordinary musical experience.” It was a wonderful moment for the Dallas Opera but, as we all know, the show must go on – and so did our seafaring stars.

We called him Ishmael in Dallas, but in San Diego, they call Stephen Costello Faust. No stranger to Dallas, Mr. Costello joined us in the 2010-2011 season as Percy in Donizetti’s Tudor trilogy finale, ANNA BOLENA but currently, he’s finishing a run of Gounod’s FAUST with the San Diego Opera. After that the young tenor will be making his debut at the Glyndebourne Festival as Nemorino in Donizetti’s L’ELISIR D’AMORE, followed by a trip to the Metropolitan Opera to reprise the role of Percy for their upcoming production of ANNA BOLENA.

Our Starbuck, Morgan Smith, recently joined MOBY-DICK composer and librettist Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer for the premiere of the new one-act opera version of FOR A LOOK OR A TOUCH with Seattle Men’s Chorus. Mr. Smith with be finishing out the season with Oper Leipzig as Figaro in their BARBER OF SEVILLE, Guglielmo in COSI FAN TUTTE, Graf von Liebenau in the operetta DER WAFFENSCHMIED, and Whitelaw Savory in Weill’s ONE TOUCH OF VENUS.

If you’re wanting to catch Mr. Smith locally, look for him with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra in March of next year for Bach’s “St. Matthew Passion” conducted by maestro Jaap Van Zweden.

As MOBY-DICK’S Pip, Talise Trevigne floated across our stage (suspended 20 feet above) just as her beautiful performance floats in our memories. This May, you can catch Ms. Trevigne in San Diego Opera’s CARMEN where she’ll be singing Micaela, of which she says is “nice to be in a skirt!” However, this summer Ms. Trevigne continues the theme by singing the pant role of Jemmy in Rossini’s WILLIAM TELL at Caramoor with the Orchestra of St. Luke.

And what of Captain Ahab, the 2009-2010 Maria Callas “Debut Artist of the Year” Award winner? If you’re in the mood to travel this summer, you can catch Ben Heppner in SAMSON ET DALILA with the Théatre du Capitole in France, PETER GRIMES at the Royal Opera House in London with Covent Garden, and TRISTAN UND ISOLDE with the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, Germany.

For those of you who missed out on our World Premiere last year, or for those of you who just couldn’t get enough, don’t worry – MOBY-DICK lives! MOBY’s next sighting is going to be in the coastal city of Adelaide, the capital of South Australia. This August and September you can join Director Leonard Foglia, Set Designer Robert Brill, Projection Designer Elaine McCarthy and other original crew members at the State Opera of South Australia for the second run of Heggie’s MOBY-DICK.

But don’t worry if you lack the sea-legs to make the trip to Australia, MOBY-DICK will be returning to the States in February for its San Diego Opera premiere. Jay Hunter Morris will star as Captain Ahab for both premieres, the Dallas Opera’s Queequeg, Jonathan Lemalu, continues the role with State Opera and Morgan Smith will rejoin the cast in San Diego as Starbuck. For more information about the upcoming productions of MOBY-DICK, visit http://www.saopera.sa.gov.au/ or http://www.sdopera.com/.


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