From the Desk of Artistic Director Jonathan Pell

by Megan Meister

Leonard Foglia, Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer in San Diego for the opening night of MOBY-DICK, the opera's west coast premiere.

 

Basking in the glowing reviews for the Dallas Opera’s extraordinary production of TRISTAN AND ISOLDE, I got on a plane for San Diego to attend the west coast premiere of MOBY-DICK.  It was wonderful to be reunited with this magnificent work which we commissioned for the opening season of the Winspear Opera House and which premiered there in April 2010.  Most of the original cast and production team had been reassembled (only Stephen Costello and Jonathan Beyer of the principal singers were unable to join the crew for this “sailing of the Pequod”, and were replaced by Jonathan Boyd and Malcolm Mackenzie, respectively. The only other major change was conductor Joseph Mechavich who has ably succeeded Patrick Summers on the podium, and the production was just as stunning as we all remember it.

Ian Campbell, San Diego Opera’s long time general director, was the first colleague to “sign on” as a co-commissioner and co-producer of the five opera companies who share in the production (although the fourth company to present it, after Dallas, Adelaide and Calgary.) I am very grateful to Ian for his support of the project.  By the way, San Diego Opera was also a partner in our 2001 commission of Tobias Picker’s THERESE RAQUIN.

The future of MOBY-DICK seems assured now, since four other companies have expressed interest in presenting MOBY-DICK after the last original partner’s performances in San Francisco this October.

It is now 6:30 on Sunday morning and I am at the San Diego Airport awaiting my flight back to Dallas in time for today’s matinee of TRISTAN— I certainly wasn’t going to miss one of the performances of this incredible production if I could help it, and maybe I’ll be able to sleep on the plane…

One Response to From the Desk of Artistic Director Jonathan Pell

stedmantx says: March 1, 2012 at 6:05 pm

Mr. Pell, we were right on your heels to San Diego! We attended Moby Dick twice in Dallas, and subsequently heard the stunning Talise Trevigne (Moby’s Pip) in three performances of the Heggie/Scheer Pieces of 9/11 in Houston last September. We are enthralled with Moby, and plan to attend two performances in San Francisco in October. We’ve set a goal to see Moby at least once at every presentation by an American opera company! By the way, we are very excited about already about Great Scott in 2015 and already have a number of friends who are planning trips to Dallas that season. We were disappointed about the cancellation of Katya Kobanova with Patricia Racette, though we fully understand the reasoning behind it, and trust you will bring this amazing artist back to Dallas in a future season.

–Rich Anderson

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