Chicago Opera Theater to Present Chicago Premiere of Critically Acclaimed Jack Heggie Opera Moby Dick at Harris Theater for Music and Dance

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Richard Cox as Ahab in Moby Dick at Opera San Jose (photo by Pat Kirk).

In May Chicago Opera Theater (COT) caps its 2018/2019 season with the Chicago premiere of Moby-Dick, an epic adaptation of Herman Melville’s 1851 classic “Moby-Dick; or, The Whale” at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance (205 E. Randolph Street). The production is co-produced by Utah Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, San Jose Opera and Gran Teatre del Liceu.

This grand American epic, featuring music by Jake Heggie and a libretto by Gene Scheer arrives in Chicago on the heels of critically acclaimed performances in Utah, Pittsburgh and San Jose. The production is conducted by Staley Music Director Lidiya Yankovskaya and directed by Kristine McIntyre.

Moby-Dick is a stunning work of extraordinarily powerful music and gripping storytelling,” said Yankovskaya. “Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer have drawn from the most compelling and dramatic passages of Melville’s epic, crafting a deft adaptation that has thrilled audiences across the globe. We’re proud to be bringing this important American opera to Chicago audiences for the first time.”

The opera focuses on the perilous adventures of the whaling ship Pequod, as Captain Ahab gathers a crew on his quest for revenge on the legendary whale that cost him a leg. Featuring a cast of more than 50 singers, including acclaimed American tenor Richard Cox as Captain Ahab and Russian-American baritone Aleksey Bogdanov as Starbuck, the well-lauded production was hailed as “a stunning achievement… imposing, monumental, goose bump-inducing orchestral and choral writing” by Opera Today and “a modern masterpiece” by OperaWire. Other principal singers include Vince Wallace (Queequeg), Andrew Bidlack (Greenhorn), Summer Hassan (Pip), Aaron Short (Flask), Christopher Magiera (Captain Gardiner) and David Govertsen (Stubb). The chorus features more than 30 male voices.

The design team for the production includes David Jaques (Lighting), Erhard Rom (Sets) and Jessica Jahn (Costumes.) Moby-Dick is sung in English (with English supertitles) and runs 2 hours and 40 minutes.

Moby-Dick will be performed Thursday, April 25 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 25 at 3 p.m.  at the Harris Theatre for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph Street. Tickets, which range in price from $45-$145, are available now on the Chicago Opera Theater website or by calling (312) 704-8420. 

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