The grand American epic arrives in Chicago in an international co-production.
Since its premiere in 2010, composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer’s opera adaption of this epic tale of obsession and adventure has been hailed as “a grand opera for the twenty-first century” (Opera News).
Based on Herman Melville’s magnum opus, the opera takes the sprawling novel and distills it to under three hours of innovative, musical storytelling. The opera follows Ahab, captain of the whaling ship Pequod, on his quest for revenge on the legendary beast that cost him a leg. Unlike Melville’s retrospective narrative, Heggie’s opera is set in real time, featuring the characters of Starbuck, Greenhorn, Queequeg, and Pip.
Familiar to many from its place among the American Classics and school reading lists, Herman Melville’s novel has been adapted into many genres, including the celebrated 1956 film directed by John Huston, who co-wrote the screenplay with none other than Ray Bradbury; and Ron Howard’s 2015 film In the Heart of the Sea which portrays the events that inspired Melville’s novel.