31st Oct - 28th Nov 2015

LA Opera: Jake Heggie’s Moby-Dick

“Heggie’s orchestral writing is of more use setting mood and scene than conveying dramatic argument. An ear worm-ready four-note motive pervades the opera in the way many a film composer would envy. L.A. Opera does a good job with all this…That is mainly because of James Conlon’s impatient conducting. He finds what he can in Heggie’s score and then urges on the three-hour opera. He becomes most excited when there is variety — a sea shanty to play with, a storm, the call of “there she blows.” He deals within reason with the excesses of nostalgia and sentimentality.” — Los Angeles Times

“Conlon conducted Saturday’s performance [of Moby-Dick] with the same sense of atmosphere he brings to Benjamin Britten and the magnitude he strives for in Wagner…” — Los Angeles Daily News

“James Conlon led the orchestra with an emphasis on clarity, color and agility, some less than tidy passages notwithstanding.” — Orange County Register

“Conductor James Conlon puts his singular stamp on everything he does and Moby-Dick is no exception. Although I’ve seen this opera 3 times, I heard new and different sonorities at the Chandler Pavilion and I loved the sparkling lyricism of Conlon’s interpretation. His sea is not always angry. It varies as does the weather and only at the end does it rise up and overpower humanity. I enjoyed Moby-Dick and suggest opera lovers try to see it more than once to savor its many layers.” — Opera Today

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