Chicago Opera Theater's Moby-Dick is well worth chasing down

Composer Jake Heggie has found the musical equivalent of Melville's rich prose in his roiling and sparkling orchestral score, while librettist Gene Scheer perfectly captures the book's original tone and language, even as he drops the first-person narration. (Seen the movies? Scheer's tight storytelling improves upon the film condensations of the book.)
Apr 26, 2019

This Superb Moby Dick is a Defining Point in Chicago Opera Theater's History

It takes multiple ingredients for an opera to work, starting with a captivating story, which Moby-Dick” obviously has. But that sprawling novel had to be honed to a usable form, and Gene Scheer, one of today’s go-to librettists, did a first-rate job of conveying its scale and intimacy with vivid, imagistic language.
Apr 26, 2019

Chicago Opera Theater caps season with critically-acclaimed production of ‘Moby Dick,’ April 25 and 28

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. The design team includes David Jaques (Lighting), Erhard Rom (Sets) and Jessica Jahn (Costumes.) “‘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.”
Mar 27, 2019

With her Boston debut, mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato came to play

Highlights of the American side included a zingy “Lullaby of Birdland,” a crystalline “Will He Like Me?” in which one could see the shy ingenue shining through her face, and Gene Scheer’s hymnlike “Lean Away,” which she dedicated to the recently deceased genre chameleon André Previn.
Mar 04, 2019

At SF Opera, new version of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ earns its wings

The operatic version of “It’s a Wonderful Life” that opened at the San Francisco Opera on Saturday, Nov. 17 – just in time for the holidays – is everything the classic Frank Capra movie of 1946 was before it. It’s fizzy and funny, heartwarming and sentimental, and full of just enough poster-board moralism to leave everyone (except perhaps money-grubbing slumlords) feeling pretty gosh-darned good about the world.
Dec 02, 2018

SF Opera’s ‘Wonderful Life’ is so good — and so necessary

“It’s a Wonderful Life” just might be the opera we need right now. After a year of devastating fires, mass shootings, political turmoil and paralyzing uncertainty, Jake Heggie’s opera has arrived at the War Memorial Opera House with a simple, uplifting message: “no one is a failure who has friends.”
Nov 19, 2018

is Perfect for its Time

This piece is perfect for its time - it is completely relevant to the world that we live in today and applies to many things. Heggie, Zvulun, and Scheer make a perfect combo with an all star cast and crew and present a work prudent for today.
Apr 09, 2018