It’s a new year and it’s time to finally celebrate some new opera! And what better way to celebrate than raising a glass?
Today we’re making the classic cocktail, the Dark n’ Stormy, while we talk about Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer’s Moby Dick.
In 2019 one of my closest friends basically demanded that I make the drive up to Chicago with him to see Chicago Opera Theater’s production of Moby Dick. I wasn’t very excited about the prospect of an opera about whaling. Even as a big literature nerd, I had never had the impulse to read Melville’s lengthy seafaring tale. My friend, who had actually been in Philadelphia Opera’s production, however, was persistent and so off we went.
It was incredible.
I’ve always been a fan of Jake Heggie’s music, but together with Scheer they carved out the human story from Melville’s tale, which in many sections reads like an encyclopedia
on whaling life. At the heart of the story they decided to tell are the clashes of obsession, Captain Ahab’s with the whale, Starbucks’s religious fanaticism, and the ability of the everyday whalers to be swept up in the obsession of these two men. Underpinning all of these is Ishmael’s coming of age tale on the boat as he learns about friendship, brotherhood, and death.
Heggie’s composition is hauntingly beautiful from the sea shanties sung by the whalers to the dramatic arias of Ahab and Starbuck to the sweet duet of Ishmael and Queequeg to the roaring ocean that is the orchestra. Scheer pulls many direct quotes from Melville’s novel while weaving them into a cohesive and compelling storyline.
Moby Dick is one of my favorite operas, contemporary or otherwise, and I can’t recommend it enough. It is stunning, modern, and an opera I believe will last.
Make your own Dark N’ Stormy
4 oz of Ginger Beer
2 oz of Dark Rum
.5 oz of Lime Juice
1 Lime for Garnish
Fill a glass ¾ full of Ice
Pour in 4 oz of Ginger Beer
Pour in .5 oz of Lime Juice
Float 2 oz of Dark Rum on top
Garnish with a slice of lime
If you make this decicious cocktail, make sure to tag us on Instagram of Facebook so we can repost!