Dead Man Walking Opens Metropolitan Opera Season
Simulcast Worldwide to Cinemas Live in HD
September 26 – October 21, 2023
World Premiere Intelligence Opens Houston Grand Opera Season
October 20 – November 3, 2023
World Premiere & Global Tour of Joshua Bell Commission The Elements
Hamburg, Hong Kong, New York in September 2023
Chicago, Seattle in June 2024
World Premiere & U.S. Tour of Before It All Goes Dark
Music of Remembrance in Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago in May 2024
DEAD MAN WALKING
Recognized by the Wall Street Journal as “arguably the world’s most popular 21st-century opera and art song composer,” Jake Heggie is set to deliver a 2023/24 season filled with high-profile premieres and top-tier artistic collaborations. From a pair of opening night galas at the Metropolitan Opera and Houston Grand Opera to orchestral premieres with superstar violinist Joshua Bell in Hamburg, Hong Kong, and New York, Heggie’s works will offer audiences a wide range of perspectives and possibilities.
Created with director/choreographer Jawole Willa Jo Zollar and librettist Gene Scheer, Intelligence is based on the little-known true story of two women who infiltrated the Confederate White House during the American Civil War. The work receives its world premiere on opening night of Houston Grand Opera’s 23/24 season, conducted by Kwamé Ryan and starring Jamie Barton, Janai Brugger, and J’Nai Bridges. Brooklyn-based dance troupe Urban Bush Women infuses African ancestral dance, an art form rarely experienced in grand opera, in five performances through November 3, 2023.
Grammy Award-winning violinist Joshua Bell commissioned five renowned American composers – Jake Heggie, Jennifer Higdon, Edgar Meyer, Jessie Montgomery,and Kevin Puts – to dedicate themselves to the five Elements that form the basis of Aristotle’s Greek philosophy and traditional Chinese medicine: Fire, Air, Water, Ether, and Earth, respectively. Each composer has contributed one movement to this suite, which will tour major orchestras around the globe. The Elements receives its world premiere with Alan Gilbert conducting the opening night of the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra season in Hamburg on September 1-2, 2023; the Asian premiere takes place September 8-9, 2023, with opening night of the Hong Kong Philharmonic season conducted by Jaap van Zweden; and the U.S. premiere will be given by the New York Philharmonic, also led by van Zweden. Subsequent performances include the Midwest premiere with Chicago Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Juraj Valčuha, June 13-15, 2024, and the West Coast premiere with Seattle Symphony, led by Marin Alsop on June 20 and 22, 2024.
BEFORE IT ALL GOES DARK
Based on a compelling true story first reported by Howard Reich in the Chicago Tribune, this one-act opera follows Mac, a disabled Vietnam veteran who learns that he is the heir to a priceless art collection, stolen by the Nazis from an ancestor he didn’t know he had. Before It All Goes Dark is Music of Remembrance’s fifth commission of Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer. The duo’s artistic partnership with MOR began in 2007 with For a Look or a Touch, believed to be the first major musical work to explore the Third Reich’s persecution of gay people. Before It All Goes Dark receives its world premiere at Seattle’s Benaroya Hall on May 19, 2024, starring bass-baritone Ryan McKinny and mezzo Megan Marino, with members of the Seattle Symphony under the baton of Joseph Mechavich. The Erich Parce production travels to San Francisco’s Presidio Theatre on May 22, 2024, and concludes with two performances at Chicago’s Studebaker Theater, presented in collaboration with Chicago Opera Theater May 25-26, 2024.
“I’m overjoyed – and a bit overwhelmed – by the extraordinary convergence of so many special projects this season,” said composer Jake Heggie. “These works feature some of my favorite colleagues, as well as remarkable new collaborators. I’m especially moved that my first opera, Dead Man Walking, will open the Metropolitan Opera season, while my most recent opera, Intelligence, will open the Houston Grand Opera season. It’s genuinely beyond what I could’ve imagined, and I’m so grateful to be able to share these important stories with audiences around the world.”