Jake Heggie is the American composer of the acclaimed operas Dead Man Walking, Moby-Dick, It’s A Wonderful Life, and Three Decembers, among others. Heggie’s operas —most created with Gene Scheer or the late Terrence McNally—and his nearly 300 art songs, as well as chamber, choral, and orchestral works, have been performed extensively on five continents, championed by some of the world’s most beloved artists. Several of his works made their world premieres at HGO: End of the Affair (2004), Three Decembers (2008), Pieces of 9/11 (2011), It’s a Wonderful Life (2016), and Songs for Murdered Sisters (2022). HGO performed Dead Man Walking in 2011, with a commercial recording being released on the Virgin Classics label. The work has now received nearly 80 international productions, making it the most-performed American opera of our time. New York’s Metropolitan Opera opens its 2023-24 season with Dead Man Walking in a bold new production by director Ivo van Hove, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Starting this September, Heggie’s “Fire” (Elements) will tour around the world in a co-commissioned project with Joshua Bell and five major orchestras including the NDR Elbphilharmonie, New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and Seattle Symphony. Future premieres include new works for the Miró String Quartet and a one-act opera,Before it All Goes Dark (Scheer), starring baritone Ryan McKinny and mezzo Megan Marino. Heggie has received Grammy nominations for Great Scott (2019) as well as Unexpected Shadows, his album with Jamie Barton (2022). 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 END OF THE AFFAIR 2003-04 (World premiere)
THREE DECEMBERS 2007-08 (World premiere)
DEAD MAN WALKING 2010-11
PIECES OF 9/11 2011-12 (World premiere)
IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE 2016-17 (World premiere)
SONGS FOR MURDERED SISTERS 2021-22 (World premiere, chamber version)