Leading Off: Spying the Whale, Choosing the Whale, and Tony Bennett on the Meyerson

1. The important part of this piece about the Dallas Opera’s Moby Dick isn’t the part about the risky commissioning of an opera about Melville’s novel or Jake Heggie’s enthusiasm for the novelist’s language. If you’ve been following along over the last year or so, you’ve heard many of these anecdotes. The important part is that with the NY Times piece, it is official: the music world’s ear is bent to Dallas. And on Friday we shout back.

2. Why adapt Moby Dick into an opera? Is it the evolution of the character Ishmael? Is it the Shakespearean overtones in the novel and the applicability of Shakespeare’s dramatic sense to the operatic form? Or is it because adopting a novel into an opera is an easier sell for company box offices than works dreamed up anew by a composer? Try all of the above.

3. Tony Bennet, aka, Anthony Dominick Benedetto, comes to town tonight to sing in what he calls one of the finest concert halls in the world: “We play quite a few halls in the world, great halls around the world. The acoustics in your concert hall are perfect. They are the best I’ve ever heard.” Crowd pleaser.

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