Tuesday, March 30
Call me Ishmael... Birge. Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul, then, I account it high time to get to the nearest Starbucks as soon as I can.
With apologies to Hermann Melville, today marks anniversary of the opening of the first Starbucks coffee shop in Seattle, Washington, Now, since Starbucks gets its name from the first mate of the Pequod, the whaling ship made famous in Melville’s classic American novel “Moby Dick,” in addition to a steaming hot cup of Mr. Starbuck’s coffee, we celebrate composer Jake Heggie’s ambitious “Moby Dick” opera, which premiered in Dallas in 2010.
“When I write an opera, at a certain point the characters start singing to me,” Mr. Heggie said about wrestling with his great white whale. “But this was the first piece where I felt there was a physical cost, an exhaustion ... ‘Moby Dick’ deserved that.”
And no doubt the Dallas Opera stage director, Leonard Foglia, needed more than a few cups of Mr. Starbuck’s coffee to bring Melviille’s epic drama to life on stage.
He said, “I had to sink the ship in eight bars of music.”
Music Played in Today's Program
Jake Heggie (b.1961) Moby Dick San Francisco Opera; Patrick Summers, cond. EuroArts DVD 2059658
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