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Today's listening: CBC Saturday Afternoon at the Opera sets course for Calgary production of Moby-Dick

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Calgary Opera’s Moby-Dick

Now that the Metropolitan Opera brodcast season is over, CBC Radio 2’s Saturday Afternoon at the Opera turns its attention to Canada, starting today with Calgary Opera’s production of Moby-Dick.

The cast is populated by Torontonians: tenors Ben Heppner as Ahab and Colin Ainsworth as Ishmael, baritones Brett Polegato as Starbuck, Peter McGillivray as Stubb, and former COC Ensemble Studio member Justin Welsh as Queequeeg. Soprano Lisa DiMaria, another COC Ensemble alum, is Pip.

The conductor is Joseph Mechavich

Calgary Opera co-commissioned the adaptation of Herman Melville’s novel from American operatic collaborators Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer. The work had its premiere in Dallas, in 2010. There were only three performances at Calgary’s Jubilee Auditorium, starting Jan. 28.

For a plot synopsis of the two-act (plus epilogue) opera, click here.

The broadcast/webstream begins at 1 p.m. Eastern.


Recent McGill grad and Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions winner, baritone Philippe Sly sang Ralph Vaughan William’s Songs of Travel very nicely at a recent concert with the Chamber Players of Canada, in Ottawa.

It’s great to hear the songs accompanied by a chamber ensemble — a group that also presents a nice selection of instrumental music.

You can listen to the whole concert at CBC’s Concerts on demand here.

John Terauds

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