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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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14410 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.

Salon Series: An Evening with Composer Jake Heggie

OPERA America presents a salon concert featuring excerpts from Heggie's operas and song cycles performed by sopranos Devon Guthrie and Talise Trevigne, mezzo...

Even - Jake Heggie - Alexandra Haines

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

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 ...

Frederica von Stade, Matt Haimovitz, Lisa Delan, and Jake Heggie "My True Love Hath My Heart"

Frederica von Stade, Mezzo-Soprano Matt Haimovitz, Cello Lisa Delan, Soprano Jake Heggie, Piano ...perform Jake Heggie's "My True Love Hath My Heart" at Paci...

Jake Heggie on InnerVIEWS with Ernie Manouse

Internationally acclaimed composer, Jake Heggie (Dead Man Walking and Houston Grand Opera's End of the Affair) joins Ernie Manouse to delve into the creative...

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...

Graduate Recital - A Lucky Child/Final Monologue, Jake Heggie (b. 1961)

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 ...

14410 videos foundNext > 

66 news items


Fri, 18 Apr 2014 21:18:45 -0700

When Sister Helen Prejean, a Roman Catholic nun known for her work to abolish the death penalty, learned that the San Francisco Opera wanted Jake Heggie to create an opera based on her book Dead Man Walking, she had to learn more about the ...
San Bernardino Sun
Fri, 18 Apr 2014 11:22:30 -0700

Foglia's credits include directing the Broadway production of “Master Class” and Jake Heggie's opera “Last Acts.” Von Stade's role is a woman who has outlived everyone of her immediate family: her husband, her daughters and virtually everyone else she ...
San Francisco Classical Voice
Tue, 15 Apr 2014 15:15:59 -0700

Jake Heggie and Marie Plette Festival Opera may be cash-strapped these days, but it's hardly wanting for creative drive and acumen. Rather than proceeding passively to its grave, the 23-year-old company, like many Jews, Gypsies, and gays facing ...
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 13:15:00 -0700

“Another Sunrise,” by composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer — the duo behind the 2010 opera “Moby-Dick” — tells the story of Krystyna Zywulska in a one-woman, half-hour opera that will be presented for the second time ever. It premiered in ...

Madison Magazine (blog)

Madison Magazine (blog)
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 09:52:30 -0700

Pedigree or not, Mayes has already accomplished something that most singers would give a lot for: the total endorsement of a composer. Of Mayes's portrayal of Joseph DeRocher, composer Jake Heggie says, “I've seen Mike sing Joe a few times, and I can ...

Montreal Gazette

Montreal Gazette
Fri, 18 Apr 2014 08:22:30 -0700

Like Jake Heggie's Dead Man Walking, this is an opera on a subject made familiar by a movie (Joyeux Noël, about a Christmas Eve ceasefire in the First World War) by an American composer (Kevin Buts) unknown to local audiences. Apparently the OdM ...
Broadway World
Sat, 05 Apr 2014 09:40:10 -0700

The Dallas Opera tonight capped a phenomenally successful season with the announcement that the original Leonard Foglia production of composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer's powerful twenty-first century masterpiece, MOBY-DICK, will be ...


Wed, 16 Apr 2014 14:11:15 -0700

The Berkeley Symphony will premiere works by two major composers during its just-announced 2014-15 season: Jake Heggie's "Camille Claudel: Into the Fire" for orchestra and mezzo-soprano - the mezzo being Sasha Cooke - and "Sea Shaped" by the ...

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