by Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer • March 17, 20, 23 & 25, 2018

As part of Pittsburgh Opera’s commitment to bring new, American operas to the Benedum Center stage, we are very proud to announce the Pittsburgh premiere of Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer’s critically acclaimed opera Moby-Dick.  

The opera is based on the famous novel of the same name by Herman Melville, about Captain Ahab’s monomaniacal pursuit of a legendary white whale in his ship the Pequod.

Pittsburgh Opera will be performing an exciting new production of Moby-Dick, which we co-produced with Utah Opera and which debuted in Salt Lake City this January. The Salt Lake Tribune praised that “Erhard Rom’s abstract set design, Jessica Jahn’s exhaustively researched costumes and Kristine McIntyre’s authoritative stage direction pull the audience into the action.”

Video of Utah Opera's performances of Moby-Dick in January, 2018. Pittsburgh Opera was a co-producer and will be performing the same production with several of the same cast members.

The world-class cast includes two singers making their Pittsburgh Opera debuts plus some returning favorites.

Canadian tenor Roger Honeywell returns to Pittsburgh as the obsessed Captain Ahab, who will stop at nothing to wreak his revenge on the giant whale that previously took off his leg. Honeywell also sang the role in Salt Lake City this January, where his “fierce performance brought Ahab to terrifying life” according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

Former Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artist Sean Panikkar, last seen here in the world premiere of The Summer King – The Josh Gibson Story, sings the role of whaling neophyte Greenhorn, aka Ishmael in the book.

Texas baritone Michael Mayes brings his “powerful” voice and “arresting stage presence” to his Pittsburgh Opera debut as Starbuck, the Pequod’s First Mate, who is torn between his duty to his captain and his duty to himself.

Also debuting is Musa Ngqungwana, a South African bass-baritone, as tattooed harpooner Queequeg, who befriends Greenhorn. The Dallas Observer called him a “powerful presence” when he portrayed Queequeg in 2016, and Limelight Magazine said he was “gorgeously resonant” in Utah this January.

Antony Walker conducts. Kristine McIntyre directs. Dancers provided by Attack Theatre.

Captain Ahab (Roger Honeywell) entices the Pequod’s crew with a gold doubloon for whomever spots the dreaded white whale Moby-Dick.

Queequeg (Musa Ngqungwana) laughs as Greenhorn (Sean Panikkar) coughs after taking a hit from Queequeg’s pipe.

Captain Ahab (Roger Honeywell) comes close to shooting First Mate Starbuck (Michael Mayes) for insubordination.

First Mate Starbuck’s (Michael Mayes) whale boat on the hunt.

Greenhorn (Sean Panikkar) compliments Queequeg (Musa Ngqungwana) for having rescued Cabin Boy Pip (Jacqueline Echols), who had been thrown overboard and feared lost in the heart of the sea.

Cast and Artistic Team


Additional Video Excerpts

Details and Resources

Season Preview Audio

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