"Moby Dick" marks Scott Freiheit's return to the field of musical theatre after a number of years away. Based on a lengthy and somewhat complex novel by Herman Melville, set almost entirely at sea, and featuring a large all-male cast it's certainly not the easiest project to turn into a musical but it is exactly the kind of challenge the author enjoys. It has been dramatized many times in many different forms, perhaps most famously in 1956 when John Huston made a film version starring Gregory Peck as Captain Ahab. This version follows the book quite faithfully, although it is somewhat abridged for running time.
At this point in the project's development it is being viewed as a "concept album" with an eye towards eventual staging. While not strictly a "pop opera" where everything is sung it is largely "through-composed" with music underlying almost the entire show with dialogue and singing freely mixed, similar to the technique the author used in his musical adaptation of "The Scarlet Letter." At the moment we are exploring various "crowd funding" options to raise funds to make a 74 minute recording of the show.
The story is told through the eyes of Ishmael, one of the sailors who ships aboard The Pequod, a whaler out of Nantucket. Ishmael, and the rest of the crew, soon discover that their commander, Captain Ahab, is not interested in the daily business of whaling but instead is set on a quest of revenge at all costs to kill the great white whale, Moby Dick, who took off his leg during a previous encounter. Despite the obvious madness of their mission Ahab is able to win over the crew to his cause with his dynamic personality and his fiery passion. Only Starbuck, the First Mate, remains unconvinced of the righteousness of their venture. Still, nothing can disuade Ahab from chasing the whale across the globe, even though Ahab himself knows that the journey is pure madness. It's a story of man against nature and the "tunnel vision" of obsession, set against a backdrop of a mid 19th century whaling expedition, filled with adventure, danger and reckless insanity.
Here is a sample of one of the songs from the show, "To Hell and Back," performed by Scott Freiheit as Captain Ahab and Randy Thomas as Starbuck.