“Opera is essentially about connections. It’s about community. You can’t have an opera unless you have several singers and instrumentalists to tell a story and an audience to tell a story to … bringing people together whether they have similar belief systems or not. It unifies us in a remarkable way.” – Jake Heggie
Though born in Florida, Jake Heggie was raised in Ohio and California, and has made his home in San Francisco since 1993. Heggie has been drawn to topics that reflect his passion for human rights and social justice (as well as his love of literature), and his operas have been acclaimed for their emotional honesty and dramatic power. Those operas include Dead Man Walking, Moby-Dick, Great Scott, Three Decembers, and the choral opera The Radio Hour, among others. Heggie’s operas – most created with writers Terrence McNally and Gene Scheer – have been produced on five continents. Moby-Dick (Scheer) was telecast throughout the United States as part of Great Performances’ 40th Season and released on DVD (EuroArts). Dead Man Walking (McNally) has received nearly 50 international productions and has been recorded twice. A Guggenheim Fellow, Heggie has served as a mentor for the Washington National Opera’s American Opera Initiative and is a frequent guest artist at universities, conservatories and festivals throughout the U.S. and Canada. The composer was recently awarded the Eddie Medora King prize from the UT Austin Butler School of Music. Ahead is the world premiere of Heggie’s sixth full-length opera, It’s A Wonderful Life (Scheer), for the Houston Grand Opera. Heggie has also written more than 250 songs, as well as orchestral, choral and chamber music. The opera Out of Darkness is Heggie’s fourth MOR commission, following For a Look or a Touch (2007), Another Sunrise (2012) and Farewell, Auschwitz (2013), all with libretti by Scheer. Recordings of Heggie’s compositions include here/after (PentaTone Classics), At The Statue of Venus (GPR), PASSING BY: Songs by Jake Heggie (Avie), Dead Man Walking (Virgin Classics), Three Decembers (Albany), Flesh and Stone (Americus), To Hell and Back (Magnatune), The Faces of Love (RCA Red Seal), The Deepest Desire (Kansas City Symphony), For a Look or a Touch and Out of Darkness (Naxos).