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Press Release: LA Opera presents Jake Heggie's "Moby-Dick"

LA Opera 30th Anniversary Season header30th Anniversary Season

LA Opera presents company premiere of Moby-Dick

James Conlon conducts epic new opera by Jake Heggie
and Gene Scheer, starring Jay Hunter Morris as Captain Ahab 

(Los Angeles) October 13, 2015 — LA Opera's 30th Anniversary Season will include the company premiere of Moby-Dick, by composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer, opening on October 31, 2015. "Audiences around the world have cheered Moby-Dick as one of the most exciting operas of our time," said Plácido Domingo, LA Opera's Eli and Edythe Broad General Director. "I am thrilled to welcome Jake Heggie's work—a true modern masterpiece—to our stage with a truly magnificent cast and an astonishing stage production."

Moby-Dick will be conducted by James Conlon, LA Opera's Richard Seaver Music Director, and will star tenor Jay Hunter Morris as Captain Ahab. The opera will have six performances at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (135 N. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, 90012) from October 31 through November 28, 2015. LA Opera's presentation of Moby-Dick is made possible in part by a generous gift from Ann and Gordon Getty, with special underwriting support from Marie H. Song.

About Jake Heggie
Jake Heggie is the composer of a number of operas, including Moby-Dick and Three Decembers with librettist Gene Scheer, Dead Man Walking with librettist Terrence McNally, and The End of the Affair with librettist Heather McDonald. He is currently at work on two new stage works: Great Scott, with Mr. McNally, set to premiere at the Dallas Opera on October 30, 2015, and an opera based on It’s a Wonderful Life, with Mr. Scheer, for the Houston Grand Opera in 2016. Mr. Heggie has also composed more than 250 art songs, as well as concerti, chamber music, choral and orchestral works, including his recent Ahab Symphony.

About the Opera
Moby-Dick is an opera in two acts based on the classic novel by Herman Melville. Set in 1820, it tells the story of Ahab, captain of the whaleship Pequod, and the crew he commands. After losing one of his legs to a fearsome white whale, Captain Ahab becomes obsessed with finding and destroying the creature at any cost. Only one crew member, first mate Starbuck, realizes the deadly implications of Ahab’s obsession.

Since its 2010 premiere at the Dallas Opera, the opera has also been produced by the State Opera of South Australia, Calgary Opera, San Diego Opera, San Francisco Opera and Washington National Opera. The San Francisco Opera production was telecast nationally in 2013 on Great Performances (PBS) and released on DVD (EuroArts). The opera is the subject of a book by Robert Wallace titled Heggie & Scheer’s Moby-Dick: A Grand Opera for the 21st Century (UNT Press).

The Cast
Tenor Jay Hunter Morris returns to LA Opera as Captain Ahab after his most recent company appearances as Erik in The Flying Dutchman (2013). He made his role debut as Captain Ahab in 2011 with the State Opera of South Australia in Adelaide, Australia, reprising the role for subsequent productions in San Diego and San Francisco. In 2011, he appeared at the Metropolitan Opera as Siegfried in a new production of the Ring cycle, which was broadcast live to cinemas worldwide and released on DVD, winning the Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording. Tenor Joshua Guerrero, an alumnus of LA Opera's Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program, returns as Greenhorn, the newest member of Ahab's crew. The cast also includes baritone Morgan Smith as Starbuck, bass-baritone Musa Ngqungwana as harpooner Queequeg, and soprano Jacqueline Echols (the sole woman in the cast) as cabin boy Pip.

For complete casting and additional information, click here.

The Creative Team
Moby-Dick is directed by Leonard Foglia. The production features sets by Robert Brill, projections by Elaine J. McCarthy, and costumes by Jane Greenwood. The lighting is by Gavan Swift, based on original designs by Donald Holder. Keturah Stickann is the associate director and choreographer.

Performance Dates and Times
There will be six performances of Moby-Dick at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion:
•    Saturday, October 31, 2015, at 7:30pm
•    Saturday, November 7, 2015, at 7:30pm
•    Sunday, November 15, 2015, at 2pm
•    Thursday, November 19, 2015, at 7:30pm
•    Sunday, November 22, 2015, at 2pm
•    Saturday, November 28, 2015, at 7:30pm

Tickets are on sale now. Tickets begin at $17 and can be purchased in person at the LA Opera Box Office at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, by phone at 213.972.8001 or online at LAOpera.org. For disability access, call 213.972.0777 or email LAOpera@LAOpera.org.

To download production and artist photographs for Moby-Dick, click here.

Production made possible in part by a generous gift from Ann and Goron Getty.
Special underwriting support from Marie H. Song.

LA Opera is a non-profit organization dedicated to serving the greater Los Angeles community.

Yamaha is the Official Piano of LA Opera.

LA Opera Media Contact:
Fran Rizzi, Director of Public Relations
frizzi@laopera.org | 213.972.7554


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