Event—Public Programming

Moby-Dick: An Expanding Operatic Tradition


Join the artists of Chicago Opera Theater's Moby-Dick and the Melville Society in celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of author Herman Melville.

Based on Herman Melville’s magnum opus, the opera takes the sprawling novel and distills it to under three hours of innovative, musical storytelling. It follows Ahab, captain of the whaling ship Pequod, on his quest for revenge on the legendary beast that cost him a leg. Unlike Melville’s retrospective narrative, Jake Heggie’s opera is set in real time, featuring the characters of Starbuck, Greenhorn, Queequeg, and Pip.

The production's director and conductor will discuss bringing this whale of a tale to the stage, with performances by cast members and a special message from composer Jake Heggie.



Cosponsored with Chicago Opera Theater.

Note: This program will follow a related event, "Making Melville Legible: A Symposium Celebrating Completion of the Northwestern-Newberry Edition," held from 10 am to 1 pm the same day. Please register to attend that event separately, using the link on the web page for that program.

This event is part of our programming in connection with the exhibition Melville: Finding America at Sea, sponsored by Elizabeth Amy Liebman and the Gladys Kriebel Delmas Foundation. See the exhibition from January 18 through April 6, 2019, at the Newberry.

Your generosity is vital in keeping the library's programs, exhibitions, and reading rooms free and accessible to everyone. Make a donation today.