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A Whale Of An Opera

Above: "Moby-Dick" premiered at The Dallas Opera in 2010. The opera makes it West Coast premiere this weekend at San Diego Opera.

Aired 2/16/12 on KPBS Midday Edition.

Gene Scheer is the librettist for "Moby-Dick"

Jake Heggie composed the opera, "Moby-Dick"


The great chase for the most famous of white whales now gets the opera treatment. "Moby-Dick", a co-production of San Diego Opera, The Dallas Opera, San Francisco Opera, The State Opera of South Australia and Calgary Opera, makes its West Coast premiere this weekend in San Diego.

Composed by Jake Heggie ("Dead Man Walking") with text by librettist Gene Scheer, the opera first premiered in Dallas in 2010 and is based on the classic Herman Melville novel of obsession. It's the tale of one man's search to find and seek revenge on the elusive whale that destroyed his boat and left him with one leg. The large-scale production takes a literary classic and makes it contemporary through the use of multimedia and video projections in the set design, creating an opera for 21st-century audiences.

KPBS-FM talks to the opera's composer and librettist about the creative process involved in translating Melville's masterpiece from page to stage.

"Moby-Dick" opens Saturday at the San Diego Opera and runs through February 26. For more information, visit

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