In fact, we like to think that all of the effort the Dallas Opera has put into its world-premiere production of Moby-Dick (running through this weekend at the Winspear) was just a swell run-up to The American Experience episode running tonight at 8 p.m. on KERA-TV, Channel 13.
It’s Into the Deep: America, Whaling and the World, a documentary by Ric Burns (co-writer of The Civil War with his brother Ken). Into the Deep makes the case that whaling created and defined America as much as the West and the cowboy did. For those who haven’t seen Moby-Dick yet, the two-hour show is a marvelous, evocative overview of the entire industry and the period when it thrived, including the disaster of the whaleship Essex that inspired Herman Melville’s novel. The LATimes‘ warm review of the documentary is here; the Globe and Mail‘s rave is here.