Spring Concert in San Francisco: Intonations: The Music of Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer

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“I’m particularly inspired by stories of social justice and the inequities of life, and how we are all connected as human beings despite those inequities.” – Jake Heggie

This concert brings together two powerful works by Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer: INTONATIONS: Songs from the Violins of Hope, a dramatic song cycle based on the stories behind instruments played by Jews in Nazi concentration camps and For a Look or a Touch commissioned by MOR in 2007, based on the true story of two idealistic young homosexual lovers in 1930s Berlin whose lives and love were torn apart under Nazi rule.

Heggie and Scheer tell these stories with uncompromising emotional honesty, and with deep compassion that never descends to pathos or sentimentality. Their richly textured music conveys an understanding of those touched by the Holocaust, in all their complicated humanity. 

Critics responses to the 2007 world premiere of For a Look or a Touch:

“Sharply poignant, deeply affecting… deeply moving music and lyrics that pull no punches.” – Melinda Bargreen, Seattle Times 

“A masterpiece… It tells the tale musically and vocally without waver or waffle, and deserves many hearings.” – Philippa Kiraly, Seattle Post-Intelligencer 



Jake Heggie & Gene Scheer Intonations: Songs from the Violins of Hope (2019)

Laura Krumm, mezzo soprano; Mikhail Shmidt, violin soloist

Artur Girsky, violin; Natasha Bazhanov, violin; Susan Gulkis Assadi, viola; Walter Gray, cello


Jake Heggie & Gene Scheer For a Look or a Touch (2007)*

Jarrett Ott, baritone; Curt Branom, actor

Zart Dombourian Eby, flute; Laura DeLuca, clarinet; Mikhail Shmidt, violin; Walter Gray, cello; Jessica Choe, piano

Directed by Erich Parce

* Commissioned by Music of Remembrance

In memory of Robert Orth, whose artistry, wisdom and humanity remain inspirations to us all.

Curt Branom, actor
Laura Krumm, mezzo soprano
Jarrett Ott, baritone