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Wednesday Morning Roundup

by Stephen Becker 24 Apr 2013 7:11 AM

Today in the roundup: Jake Heggie debuts a new work, meeting the Cliburn competitors and Shirley Jones on her first audition.


A WHALE OF A WORK: Tonight, the University of North Texas plays host to the world premiere of Jake Heggie’s Ahab Symphony. Heggie served as the school’s artist in residence, and part of the deal was that he’d write a piece that would premiere on campus. The name of the piece is apt – it comes from the same person who composed Moby-Dick, which the Dallas Opera premiered a few years ago. “Whenever I write a character musically,” Heggie tells, “I have to empathize deeply with that character, to love them and not judge them. Ahab can come across as a cardboard villain, but he’s a very complex, textured individual. Melville gives him the most textured language.” Interested? Then be sure to tune into Think today at 1 p.m., when Heggie will spend the hour walking about his career with Krys Boyd. UPDATE: Check that – the show was yesterday. But the good news is, you can now listen to it.

MEET THE COMPETITORS: Cliburn Confidential, a series profiling this year’s competitors, is up and running on Up today is a look at Fei-Fei Dong, a 22-year-old from Shenzhen, China. Dong is currently a student at Julliard who’s already played Lincoln Center and the Louvre Auditorium. And she sounds like she’s got the right attitude for her Cliburn debut. “I just want to play my best. That is what matters,” she says.

QUOTABLE: “Now here I am, first audition anywhere, and I’ve never heard a symphony orchestra, let along sung with one. [Richard Rodgers] took me across the street, and I sang ‘Oklahoma,’ ‘People Will Say We’re In Love’ and ‘Oh, What a Beautiful Morning’…with the symphony orchestra. And two weeks later I was in my first Broadway show, South Pacific, and a few months later I was out West playing Laurey in the touring company of Oklahoma! So that’s why I say it was a fairy tale—isn’t that something?”

– Shirley Jones, on her audition with Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, in an interview with Jones performs Friday night at the Fairmont Hotel.