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Jake Heggie (born March 31, 1961 in West Palm Beach, Florida) is an American composer and pianist.

Jake Heggie is the composer of the operas Dead Man Walking (2000), The End of the Affair (2004), At The Statue of Venus (2005), To Hell and Back (2006), and Moby-Dick (2010), as well as the stage work For a Look or a Touch. He has composed more than 200 art songs as well as chamber and concert works. His operas and songs are championed internationally by singers who include Isabel Bayrakdarian, Renée Fleming, Susan Graham, Frederica von Stade, Audra McDonald, Patti LuPone, Joyce DiDonato, Jennifer Larmore, Bryn Terfel and many others. He also accompanies many of these artists in recitals.


Heggie started learning the piano when he was five years old. After spending two years in Paris, he continued his studies at the age of 20 at the University of California, Los Angeles, with the pianist Johana Harris (1912–1995), widow of the composer Roy Harris. They married in 1982 (he was 21, she 69) and separated in 1993.[1]

In 1998 he was appointed composer in residence to the San Francisco Opera, where his first opera, Dead Man Walking, was first performed in 2000. With a libretto by Terrence McNally and a production by director Joe Mantello, the opera was extensively acclaimed and it ran for two extra performances due to popularity. It has since been seen in 15 international productions, including performances at New York City Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Opera Pacific, Baltimore Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Union Avenue Opera of Saint Louis, Calgary Opera, Dresden State Opera, State Opera of South Australia, with future performances in Vienna, Sydney and Montreal. In 2007 alone, Dead Man Walking received more than 50 performances.[citation needed] Directors of subsequent productions have included Leonard Foglia and Nikolaus Lehnhoff. His second opera, The End of the Affair, was premiered in 2004 at the Houston Grand Opera. It has since been produced by Madison Opera, Seattle Opera and the Lyric Opera of Kansas City.

In 2005, Heggie collaborated again with Terrence McNally to create At the Statue of Venus, which opened the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in Denver. In 2006, he debuted To Hell and Back (libretto by Gene Scheer), commissioned by the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and featuring soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian and Patti LuPone, conducted by Nicholas McGegan in November 2006.

On 29 February 2008, his opera Last Acts, with a libretto by Gene Scheer based on a play by Terrence McNally, opened at the Houston Grand Opera, which commissioned the work in association with the San Francisco Opera and Cal Performances. Last Acts was its working title; it will in future be known as Three Decembers.[2]

On April 30, 2010, Heggie premiered his most recent opera, Moby-Dick (libretto by Gene Scheer) at The Dallas Opera, with tenors Ben Heppner as Captain Ahab and Stephen Costello as Greenhorn (Ishmael).[3]

Heggie married his partner of eight years, singer Curt Branom, in October 2008.[4]

Other works[edit]

Heggie's major works include a cello concerto (Holy The Firm), commissioned by the Oakland East Bay Symphony for cellist Emil Miland; and the song cycles The Deepest Desire (poetry by Sister Helen Prejean); The Starry Night (poetry by Anne Sexton, van Gogh and Emily Dickinson); Statuesque (poetry by Gene Scheer); Rise and Fall (poetry by Gene Scheer); Here and Gone (poetry by Vachel Lindsay and A. E. Housman); and Winter Roses (poetry by Raymond Carver, Charlene Baldridge, Frederica von Stade and Emily Dickinson).

Heggie's list of current commissions includes works for the Metropolitan Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Dallas Opera, San Francisco Opera, Music of Remembrance, Ravinia Festival, Wigmore Hall, and the University of North Texas.


  1. ^ "For an Operatic Life, Check Out the Composer’s" by Ralph Blumenthal, The New York Times (March 13, 2008)
  2. ^ Blank, Matt (6 March 2008). "Photo Journal: Jake Heggie's Last Acts Premieres at Houston Grand Opera". Playbill. Retrieved 31 March 2008. 
  3. ^ Midgette (May 3, 2010)
  4. ^ Zinko, Carolyne (7 December 2008). "Profile: Opera composer Jake Heggie". SFGate.com. 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jake_Heggie — Please support Wikipedia.
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11102 videos foundNext > 

Jake Heggie: Composing Moby-Dick

Acclaimed composer Jake Heggie discusses the creation of his latest opera, Moby-Dick, an epic adaptation of Herman Melville's classic novel. [2/2012] [Humani...

Moby Dick - Overture

Overture to the opera, "Moby Dick" by Jake Heggie. Performed by the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Timothy Sexton.

San Francisco Opera - Jake Heggie: Moby-Dick

Herman Melville's epic tale of a fierce, obsessive whaling-boat captain who descends into madness and puts his crew in mortal danger is brought to the stage ...

Even - Jake Heggie - Alexandra Haines

"Even" from Eve-Song by Jake Heggie Alexandra Haines - Soprano Weiyan Li, Piano.

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Kiera Duffy, Soprano Sings Jake Heggie's "I Shall Not Live in Vain"

Soprano Kiera Duffy sings Jake Heggie's "I Shall Not Live in Vain" with the composer at the piano. This performance is from the 2013 Sing With Haiti Benefit ...

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American Art Song. From Paper Wings. Jake Heggie, composer. Anneka Quellhorst, mezzo-soprano. Dr. Jeffrey Peterson, pianist.

Margaret Flanigan sings Jake Heggie: "My True Love Hath My Heart"

Margaret Flanigan, soprano sings, "My True Love Hath My Heart" by Jake Heggie at a vocal recital at the State University of New York at Fredonia on February ...

Jake Heggie - Of Gods and Cats

Of Gods and Cats I. In the Beginning... II. Once Upon a Universe Kristyn Christman-McCarty, mezzo-soprano Allison Peden, piano Dr. Angela Haas, voice teacher...

An Evening With Jake Heggie and Ian Campbell

Acclaimed composer Jake Heggie and San Diego Opera General & Artistic Director Ian Campbell explore the creation of Heggie's 2010 opera, Moby-Dick, based on ...

11102 videos foundNext > 

332 news items

San Jose Mercury News
Mon, 04 Aug 2014 14:10:31 -0700

Bay Area opera lovers are finally getting their first look at Jake Heggie's "The End of the Affair." Heggie's opera isn't new -- it made its world premiere at Houston Grand Opera in 2004 -- but the new West Edge Opera production, which opened last ...
Chicago Tribune
Tue, 05 Aug 2014 12:48:33 -0700

Although composer Jake Heggie has focused the bulk of his creative energies on opera over the last couple of decades, between major projects he has returned again and again to his musical heart and soul – telling stories through song. The prolific ...


Sun, 31 Aug 2014 08:33:45 -0700

“In this program, we look at the godly woman, the maternal woman, the woman who goes mad, the young and the old,” Burrows said. “It is fun and a little daring.” Composers include J.S. Bach, Maurice Ravel, Benjamin Britten, William Bolcom, Jake Heggie, ...
Mon, 25 Aug 2014 10:00:01 -0700

Cincinnati Opera and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music Opera Program have selected "Great Scott," a new American opera by Jake Heggie and Terrence McNally, for the Opera Fusion: New Works residency this fall. "Great Scott" is ...
Chicago Sun-Times
Thu, 28 Aug 2014 12:04:05 -0700

Only Ricky Ian Gordon, Jake Heggie and Duncan Sheik — each current purveyors of opera-meets-show music — overdid things with soupy resets of “Every Day a Little Death,” “A Weekend in the Country” and “Johanna,” respectively, the latter with a New Age ...

High Point University (press release) (blog)

High Point University (press release) (blog)
Thu, 28 Aug 2014 07:03:45 -0700

Composers include J.S. Bach, Maurice Ravel, Benjamin Britten, William Bolcom, Jake Heggie, Manuel de Falla and Francis Poulenc among others. Presented in conjunction with the 2014-15 Year of the Arts at HPU, the voice division recital is one of dozens ...

Appalachian State University

Appalachian State University
Wed, 27 Aug 2014 13:03:45 -0700

Schneeloch-Bingham also will perform “Soliloquy for Flute and Piano” by Jake Heggie, “Sonata” by Hayes School of Music faculty member William Harbinson and “Gute Nacht” by Franz Schubert and arranged by Theobald Boehm. The program concludes ...
Bay Area Reporter
Wed, 27 Aug 2014 18:52:30 -0700

... 12/12-13; Castro Theatre, 12/24); Love Is, featuring the world premiere of TwitterLieder by composer James Eakin and librettist Anthony Silvestri, and the SF premiere of composer Jake Heggie's choral opera For a Look or a Touch (Davies Symphony ...

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