[NOTE: This entry has been edited as of 6:55 PM Eastern on 6 Nov to polish its language and correct a typo.]
[NOTE: This entry has been updated (1) as of 3:00 AM Eastern on 4 Nov. See below.]
We watched our DVRed copy of the PBS telecast of Jake Heggie's opera Moby-Dick last night. We so wanted to love this new opera before even hearing so much as a measure of its score if just for the audacity of its undertaking, but there's so much wrong with how the opera is pieced together dramatically we couldn't help but feel annoyed, even at times angered, by it — you know, annoyed by teensy-weensy little things such as the tossing overboard of one of English-language literature's most iconic opening lines ("Call me Ishmael.") and its insertion into the opera's very last moments mostly for shock value and without any necessary or fundamental dramatic purpose. Even worse, there's an adventure-movie-soundtrack feel to too much of the opera's largely derivative music (Britten, Glass, and John Williams) which worked to put us off our feed more than a bit. We will, of course, watch this entire work at least once more before consigning it permanently to our brave-but-failed-idea bin. Perhaps that second viewing will change materially our thinking on this matter.
Update (3:00 AM Eastern on 4 Nov): Attempted a second essay of this opera which essay brought only more disappointment — so much more that we couldn't manage to make our way through the entire work this time. So, to the brave-but-failed-idea bin we regretfully and permanently consign Heggie's Moby-Dick.