Heggie’s “Moby-Dick” comes to Chicago in COT’s 2018-19 season

Wed Feb 28, 2018 at 7:30 pm

By Lawrence A. Johnson

Jake Heggie's "Moby-Dick" will be presented in Chicago Opera Theater's 2018-19 season.
Jake Heggie’s “Moby-Dick” will be presented in Chicago Opera Theater’s 2018-19 season.

Two weeks ago while lamenting the continuing lack of American works on Lyric Opera’s main stage, I asked “Will Chicago audiences ever get a chance to hear Jake Heggie’s Moby-Dick”?

Yes, as it turns out—in April of 2019.

Heggie’s widely acclaimed 2010 opera based upon Herman Melville’s classic novel will finally have its local premiere when Chicago Opera Theater presents two performances in its 2018-19 season.

Thomas Studebaker stars as the obsessed Captain Ahab, with Andrew Bidlack as Greenhorn, Vince Wallace as Queequeg, and  Michael Mayes as Starbuck; Christopher Magiera (Gardiner), Summer Hassan (Pip), Kyle Knapp (Flask), and David Govertsen (Stubb) round out the cast. Lidiya Yankovskaya conducts, with a new production by Erhard Rom and Jessica Jahn to be directed by Kristine McIntyre. Performances are April 25 and 28, 2019 at the Harris Theater.

COT’s season will open with Tchaikovsky’s final opera, Iolanta November 10-18. Katherine Weber stars in the title role as the blind heroine. Yankovskaya conducts in a production by Alan Muraoka at the Studebaker Theater.

In the second American opera of its season, COT will present Stefan Weisman’s The Scarlet Ibis. Premiered to largely positive notices in New York in 2015, The Scarlet Ibis tells the story of a disabled boy and his relationship with his brother in North Carolina set against the backdrop of World War I. Mezzo-soprano Annie Rosen and countertenor Jordan Rutter star in performances at the Studebaker Theater February 16, 21 and 24, 2018.

COT also announced the launch of its Vanguard Initiative, for the development of new opera. Chicago composer Stacy Garrop is the first Emerging Opera Composer in Residence. In the second year of her residency, Garrop will write a one-act chamber opera for COT that will be performed in semi-staged fashion.

Subscriptions to Chicago Opera Theater’s 2018-2019 season are now on sale. Call 312-704-8414 or go to cot.org. Single tickets will go on sale August 1.

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