Opera News Review: McIntyre and Yankovskaya shine in COT "Moby Dick"

"CHICAGO OPERA THEATER notably upped its artistic ante on April 25 with the belated and spectacular Windy City premiere of Jake Heggie’s Moby-Dick. The mounting is a co-effort with the companies of Utah, Pittsburgh, San Jose and the Gran Teatre del Liceu, and was by some distance a highlight of Chicago’s current season. Moby-Dick may have taken its time to drop anchor in Windy City, but Heggie’s opera sailed in to Chicago with style… Director Kristine McIntyre reveled in her signature ability to elicit meticulously detailed character portraiture from her forces. Each character emerged as a fully drawn individual with a multi-dimensional theatrical soul. McIntyre is also one of the relatively few young directors around today who knows how to stage a crowd; the clarion-voiced, fifty-two-player ensemble was very nimbly handled. Erhard Rom’s evocative setting featured a central, dominant mast atop a circular platform that briskly revolved to variously suggest the crew’s quarters, a workmanlike dinghy, the force of a terrifying ocean storm, and finally – the eye of the great white whale itself. The ship’s interior was formed of sepia-toned nautical maps festooned with references to famous voyages past. An expanse of turbulent sky above an eternal sea hovered beyond. Jessica Jahn’s wardrobe and David Martin Jacques’ atmospheric lighting completed the maritime effect. The opera gave COT music director Lidiya Yankovskaya a juicy opportunity to really strut her stuff for Chicago’s audience, and she delivered an electrifying reading." -Mark Thomas Ketterson, Opera News