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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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9378 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.

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 ...

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

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...

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...

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 ...

9378 videos foundNext > 

624 news items

Wed, 23 Apr 2014 08:47:10 -0700

At the event, "Sister Helen Prejean and Jake Heggie in Conversation," the two will talk about the opera, Sister Helen's ongoing advocacy work and their collaboration. Also as part of the night, mezzo-soprano Susanne Mentzer, who is playing the role of ...
Huffington Post
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 15:30:00 -0700

When one thinks of opera, they certainly would not think of this story yet here it is, most emotionally charged by composer Jake Heggie. This opera makes no attempt to hide murder or the execution. Incredibly, this was Jake's first opera. It first ...
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 21:13:19 -0700

The other sessions involve legal experts on capital punishment and the 2000 opera's composer, Jake Heggie. Find more information at desmoinesmetroopera.org. continued on Page 12. continued from Page 3. SHARECONNECTTWEETCOMMENTEMAIL ...


Wed, 23 Apr 2014 15:12:24 -0700

The East Bay company marks Holocaust Remembrance Day with a double bill including "The Emperor of Atlantis," Viktor Ullmann's one-act opera composed in the Terezín concentration camp, and Jake Heggie's 2012 monodrama "Another Sunrise." Singers ...
Santa Barbara Independent
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 09:41:15 -0700

Strings took the month off as Artistic Director Adrian Spence pulled together wind works that ranged from a Mozart piano quintet to the revisitation of a 2012 Camerata premiere by Jake Heggie. In classical orchestration, winds often take a backseat ...
Contra Costa Times
Tue, 22 Apr 2014 12:07:30 -0700

Walnut Creek-based Festival Opera is staging "The Emperor of Atlantis" by Viktor Ullman, paired with "Another Sunrise" by Bay Area composer Jake Heggie. The "Emperor" cast, which features Eugene Brancoveanu in the title role, also includes Philip ...
Bainbridge Island Review
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 07:15:00 -0700

The concert will include works by Lori Laitman, Gideon Klein, David Beigelman and Jake Heggie. Performers include Megan Chenovick, soprano; Julia Benzinger, mezzo-soprano; and Jonathan Green, double bass. The program is presented as part of the ...
Broadway World
Tue, 22 Apr 2014 23:22:30 -0700

Leonard Foglia, librettist and director, directed Master Class on Broadway and Jake Heggie's Opera Last Acts. The story, rich with regional imagery of Horton Foote, the legendary Texas playwright and author, tells of 90-year-old grand dame Myrtle ...

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