Monday, October 22, 2012

Moby Dick Afterthoughts --- Day 290

Walk: Mindful Body/JCC
Distance: 16 blocks, take yoga class, 1/2 hour on treadmill

Early blog today because of overstuffed evening coming up: Final Giants playoff game, final Presidential debate, Dancing with the Stars (yup).

Called to confirm my Jeopardy 'Priority Seating' ticket, so even I might bet "Yes, she will go to Jeopardy next Monday" at this point.  But I have been known to go right to the wire then cancel.  So, feel free to take your time.

Speaking of taking time, I think about yesterday's opera, Moby Dick, and the time it devoted to the actual destruction of Ahab by the white whale.  If the opera ran 2:45 hours, at least 2:35 of that time was the lead up to the abomination by Moby Dick.  Ie, it was in the air, on the viewers' minds, the entire time.  And when it actually happened, you weren't even sure it had  - no visible white whale, no dramatic music, no 'famous final scene' at all.  Strange.

It isn't a new, new opera having had its premiere in Dallas in 2010.  So if it is possible to change an opera after it has been staged (I don't know the answer to this), that could have been done.  And I imagine it had many rehearsals and tryout/previews on its road to the premiere.  So apparently this is how the lyricist, librettist and set designer understand the dramatic scene and music to be staged.

I know in the book the Pequod does sink rapidly - maybe just a page in an 800+ page book.  But it seems to me the book depicts a definite, deep, intense drama surrounding Ahab's death/Moby Dick's destruction of him and the Pequod.  Why it is nearly a non-event in the opera seems an odd decision. Even if it was calculated to convey something, it seems to have missed the mark and just leaves some - like me - leaving the opera house wondering and a bit disappointed.  What could/should have been great, seemed very, very, very good instead. 



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