Dead Man Walking
Composer: Jake Heggie
Composer Bio: Jake Heggie is the composer of the acclaimed operas Dead Man Walking (libretto: McNally), Three Decembers (libretto: Scheer), The End of the Affair (libretto: McDonald), the lyric drama To Hell and Back (libretto: Scheer), and the musical scene At the Statue of Venus (libretto: McNally). The recipient of a 2005/06 Guggenheim Fellowship, he has also composed more than 200 songs, as well as concerti, orchestral works and chamber music. His songs, song cycles and operas are championed internationally by singers including Frederica von Stade, Susan Graham, Audra McDonald, Kiri Te Kanawa, Patti LuPone, Isabel Bayrakdarian, Kristin Clayton, Kristine Jepson, Joyce DiDonato, Joyce Castle, Zheng Cao, and Bryn Terfel. He has collaborated extensively with conductors Patrick Summers, Nicholas McGegan, John DeMain, Michael Morgan, and director Leonard Foglia.

Heggie has been asked to develop an opera project with playwright Richard Greenberg for the Metropolitan Opera and Lincoln Center Theatre.

Among the composer’s numerous commissions are works for the San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera (co-commissioned by Madison Opera and Opera Pacific), Metropolitan Opera with Lincoln Center Theater, Opera Colorado, Ravinia Festival, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Carnegie Hall, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Oakland East Bay Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Louisville Orchestra, New Century Chamber Orchestra, Chanticleer, Harmida Trio, Camerata Pacifica, San Francisco Girls Chorus, Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia, University of Kansas at Lawrence, University of Connecticut at Storrs, Music of Remembrance, Pacifica Chorale, Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival, Music Accord ad individual commissions from singers Frederica von Stade, Jennifer Larmore, Brian Asawa, Bryn Terfel and Robert Orth.

Jake Heggie was born in West Palm Beach, FL, in 1961. From the age of two he was raised in Ohio and California. His first composition teacher was the late Ernst Bacon, with whom he studied in Orinda, CA from 1977 to 1979. After two years of study in Paris, he went to UCLA where he studied piano with the late Johana Harris and composition with Roger Bourland, Paul DesMarais and the late David Raksin. He has made his home in San Francisco since 1993.
Librettist: Terrence McNally
Other Artistic Personnel: Patrick Summers (Conductor)
Joe Mantello (Director)
Michael Yeargan (Designer)
Sam Flemming (Costume Designer)
Jennifer Tipton (Lighting Designer)
Original Cast: Sean San Jose (Young Man)
Dawn Walters (Young Woman)
John Packard/Teddy Tahu Rhodes (Joseph de Rocher)
David Tenenbaum (Anthony de Rocher)
Susan Graham/Kristine Jepson (Sister Helen Prejean)
Theresa Hamm-Smith (Sister Rose)
Rachelle Perry (A mother)
Sally Mouzon (Sister Lillianne)
Virginia Pluth (Sister Catherine)
Jeremy Singletary (Jimmy Charlton)
Donita Volkwijn (Mrs. Charlton)
David Okerlund (A motor cop/First prison guard)
Jay Hunter Morris (Father Grenville)
John Ames (George Benton)
Philip Horst (Second prison guard)
Richard Walker (First inmate)
Daniel Harper (Second inmate)
David Kekuewa (Third inmate)
Frederick Winthrop (Fourth inmate)
Frederick Matthews (Fifth inmate)
Jim Croom (A paralegal)
Frederica von Stade (Mrs. Patrick de Rocher)
Eli Borggraefe (Her 19-year-old son)
Mario Sawaya (Her 14-year-old son)
Robert Orth (Owen Hart)
Nicolle Foland (Kitty Hart)
Catherine Cook (Jade Boucher)
Gary Rideout (Howard Boucher)
Work Web Site:
Premiere Date: October 07, 2000
Producing Company: San Francisco Opera
Description: A Louisiana nun becomes a spiritual advisor to a convicted murderer on death row, and struggles to persuade him to admit his guilt and find redemption. The opera explores the human conflicts posed by society's demands for vengeance and the Christian imperative for forgiveness and love.
Character List (Major): Sister Helen Prejean (mz)
Joseph de Rocher (bar)
Mrs. Patrick de Rocher (mz)
Sister Rose (s)
Character List (Minor): George Benton (bb)
Father Grenville (t)
Owen Hart (bar)
Kitty Hart (s)
Howard Boucher (t)
Jade Boucher (mz)
Bit Parts: Motorcycle Cop (bar)
Prison Guard #1 (bar)
Prison Guard #2 (bar)
Older Brother to Joseph (t)
Younger Brother to Joseph (t)
Teenage Girl (actor)
Teenage Boy (actor)
A Paralegal (speaking)
Sister Catherine (s)
Sister Lillianne (s)
First Mother (mz)
Mrs. Charlton (mz)
Jimmy (from children's chorus - speaking)
Anthony de Rocher (actor)
A Nurse (silent)
Five Solo Inmates
Reviews: Back to Death Row With a Convict and a Crusading Nun - The New York Times 10/9/2000
`Walking' Tall Opera's `Dead Man' is a masterpiece of music, words and emotions - The New York Times 10/9/2000
Video Clip:
Length: 03:00
Total Acts: 2
Chorus: Chorus
Ballet/Dance: SATB, minimum 32 (including some bit parts)
Musical Style: Contemporary, with many influences from American popular styles
Contact: Bill Holab Music
Composer Web Site:
Publisher Web Site: Http://
The Opera Fund Awardee Information
Award Category: 2011 Robert L.B. Tobin Directo
Project Name: Dead Man Walking
Awardee: Justin Johnson
Director: Justin Johnson
Designer: Set Designer: Damon Pelletier, Costume Designer: H
Schedule of Performances Listings
Dead Man Walking (Heggie)
Friday, February 27, 2015 - Dayton Opera
Dead Man Walking (Heggie)
Saturday, July 5, 2014 - Central City Opera
Dead Man Walking (Heggie)
Saturday, June 28, 2014 - Des Moines Metro Opera
Dead Man Walking (Heggie)
Friday, April 25, 2014 - Madison Opera
Dead Man Walking (Heggie)
Friday, March 15, 2013 - Eugene Opera
Dead Man Walking (Heggie)
Saturday, March 9, 2013 - Opéra de Montréal
Dead Man Walking (Heggie)
Saturday, February 25, 2012 - Tulsa Opera
Dead Man Walking (Heggie)
Saturday, January 22, 2011 - Houston Grand Opera
Dead Man Walking (Heggie)
Saturday, May 2, 2009 - Fort Worth Opera
Dead Man Walking (Heggie)
Saturday, January 28, 2006 - Calgary Opera Association
Dead Man Walking (Heggie)
Saturday, June 5, 2004 - Pittsburgh Opera
Dead Man Walking (Heggie)
Thursday, August 7, 2003 - State Opera of South Australia
Dead Man Walking (Heggie)
Sunday, June 1, 2003 - Michigan Opera Theatre
Dead Man Walking (Heggie)
Friday, January 10, 2003 - Austin Opera
Dead Man Walking (Heggie)
Friday, September 13, 2002 - New York City Opera
Dead Man Walking (Heggie)
Thursday, July 11, 2002 - Cincinnati Opera
Dead Man Walking (Heggie)
Saturday, October 7, 2000 - San Francisco Opera
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