Two parallel journeys, Bianca's and a young illegal immigrant's, end up overlapping, in search of an impossible salvation, despite an almost inevitable shipwreck. At all costs. Against the ... See full summary »
A mysterious explosion occurs at the Balam Bridge in Seoul on November 20th, 1994. In front of hot-blooded local news reporter Lee Bang-Woo, Yoon Hyeok appears. Yoon Hyeok is from the same ... See full summary »
Captain Ahab's descent into madness destroys everyone around him. This powerful character drew John Barrymore, Orson Wells and John Huston. This film has been called the best, most authentic version of Herman Melville's MOBY DICK.
In this extremely loose adaptation of Melville's classic novel, Ahab is revealed initially not as a bitter and vengeful madman, but as a bit of a lovable scamp. Ashore in New Bedford, he ... See full summary »
In 1841 young Ishmael signs aboard the whaling ship Pequod, under the command of the strict, one-legged Capt. Ahab. Ishmael soon finds out that Ahab is searching for the legendary while ... See full summary »
A truly arresting production of a fine opera based on Melville's magnum opus
Herman Melville's Moby Dick is a literary masterpiece, wordy but incredibly tense and thought-provoking with one of the most fascinating characters in all literature. Jake Heggie's 2010 opera is a fine operatic adaptation, the story is every bit as absorbing and contains its spirit and the leading character's complexity, with the Britten-esque music being spine-chilling, declamatory, occasionally playful and lyrical. And this is a great, arresting production of it.
The production looks great, with atmospherically austere sets, lighting that is enough to give one the shivers, imaginative light projections that makes one feel that they are also at sea as part of the setting with the characters and evocative costumes. The quality of the DVD only adds to how good the production values are, the video directing allows expansive use of the action and stage, the picture and sound quality soft and clear. A terrific job is done with the stage direction, which does wonders bringing the intense complexity of the story to vivid life, even when compressed the storytelling has all the power and emotion it should- the duet towards the end of Act 2 is incredibly emotional- and all the characters are interesting, and this is not just Captain Ahab. The Moby Dick moments were always going to be problematic to stage, but are handled reasonably deftly here, nothing looks cheap or under-budgeted and the climax is suspenseful and moving.
Musically, the production is outstanding. The orchestra play with dramatic power, sensitivity and depth and Patrick Summers' conducting is some of his most incisive, the stormy moments rage furiously with dynamics never being sacrificed, the intimate solos have plenty of elegant lyricism and nuance and the men's chorus moments have a rousing playfulness. Jay Hunter Morris fills in some big shoes taking over the title role from the role's creator Ben Heppner, and does wonderfully with it. His voice is not as sweet as Heppner, having a little more point and steel, but it rings thrillingly and it still makes for attractive listening. His acting is also some of his best ever, Ahab's demeanour is terrifying but thanks to the music and libretto Morris still brings plenty of subtlety.
Of the rest of the cast, definite standouts would be Jonathan Lemalau and Talise Trevigne. Lemalau is a very haunting yet sympathetic Queequeg with a deep resonant voice, and Trevigne brings fearless charisma and silvery tone to the expanded trouser role of Pip. Steven Costello's sympathetic Greenhorn (Ishmael in the book and a role reduced in the opera) and Morgan Smith's movingly anguished Starbuck convince hugely as well. In conclusion, a fine and arresting production. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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