digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:


Applied sciences






















Jake Heggie (born March 31, 1961) 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 was born in West Palm Beach, Florida, and 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]

Several of Heggie's works have been recorded, including, on the Pentatone label, The Hours Begin to Sing, a recital by Lisa Delan, which includes four songs from Heggie's Book of Nightmares; And if the song be worth a smile, another recital by Lisa Delan with four songs by Heggie; and HERE/AFTER, a song cycle partly about the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

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. ^ Ralph Blumenthal, "For an Operatic Life, Check Out the Composer’s" 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.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.

1273 news items

austin360 (blog)

austin360 (blog)
Mon, 11 May 2015 14:24:56 -0700

UT's Butler School of Music has awarded composer Jake Heggie the $40,000 Eddie Medora King Award, the school announced today. Jake Heggie's "Moby-Dick". Jake Heggie's “Moby-Dick.” Dallas Opera. Given approximately every two years, the award is ...

WABE 90.1 FM

WABE 90.1 FM
Tue, 26 May 2015 08:00:00 -0700

To this day, Verdi, Wagner and Mozart are titanic figures in opera. Also, the English language is conspicuously rare. Several American opera companies are looking to change that with commissions of new work. Since 2000, Jake Heggie has been opera's ...

Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times
Fri, 27 Feb 2015 11:00:28 -0800

Don't tell Jake Heggie that opera is a dying art form. The composer of the opera "Dead Man Walking" thinks it's alive and kicking — he even uses an unprintable term to describe a recent batch of articles declaring that "Opera is dead." And while his ...


Mon, 24 Nov 2014 07:56:15 -0800

It's crunch time for Jake Heggie. The composer of "Dead Man Walking," "Moby-Dick" and "The End of the Affair" is in town for a workshop with the creative team of his latest opera "Great Scott." "This is the golden moment where, instead of just hearing ...

89.3 KPCC

89.3 KPCC
Thu, 05 Mar 2015 16:57:21 -0800

But that didn't seem to rattle first-time composer Jake Heggie. Based on the book by Sister Helen Prejean, "Dead Man Walking" tells the story of the nun who counseled Louisiana death row convict Joseph DeRocher. As his execution neared, the morality of ...
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Fri, 15 May 2015 20:56:15 -0700

Led by British conductor Michael Francis, music director designate of the Florida Orchestra, the program hinged on the world premiere of Jake Heggie's “The Work at Hand,” a concerto for cello and mezzo-soprano commissioned by the PSO and Carnegie Hall ...
San Francisco Examiner
Wed, 25 Feb 2015 04:03:21 -0800

For San Francisco's Jake Heggie, as it was for French sculptor Camille Claudel, art is a flame that fuels the creative mind, and provides solace in times of hardship. “I started composing at age 11, just after my father's suicide. Music felt like an ...

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Wed, 13 May 2015 20:56:15 -0700

"And then: / there are slow seconds like these, / when the single square of window reveals / pine tree needles bursting into branches, / making their stubborn way through a furrowed trunk." Jake Heggie knows when he should put words to music. The text ...

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!

Searchlight Group

Digplanet also receives support from Searchlight Group. Visit Searchlight