Heggie's Dead Man Walking

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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Jake Heggie's Dead Man Walking has become one of the few recent operas to have entered the repertory, playing to sold-out houses across the U.S. and Europe. The work, based on Sister Helen Prejean’s memoir of working with Louisiana death-row inmates, originated at the San Francisco Opera in 2000.

In this production, mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato plays Sister Helen; baritone Philip Cutlip makes his role debut as the convicted killer Joseph De Rocher; mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade is De Rocher’s mother (a role she created in San Francisco), and soprano Measha Brueggergosman, making her company debut, takes on the small part of Sister Rose.  Patrick Summer -- who conducted the opera’s world premiere a decade ago as well as the acclaimed recording on Erato -- conducts.

Cast:

Joyce DiDonato - Sister Helen Prejean
Philip Cutlip - Joseph De Rocher
Frederica von Stade - Mrs. Patrick De Rocher
Measha Brueggergosman - Sister Rose
Hector Vásquez - George Benton
John Packard - Owen Hart
Cheryl Parrish - Kitty Hart
Susanne Mentzer - Jade Boucher
Jon Kolbet - Howard Boucher
Beau Gibson - Fr. Grenville
Michael Sumuel - Motorcycle Cop/Prison Guard
Boris Dyakov - Prison Guard
Kiri Deonarine - Sister Catherine
Brittany Wheeler - Sister Lilliane
Austin Dean - 19-year-old son
Cullen King - 14-year-old son
Heather Sanders - Young Woman
Matt Hune - Young Man
Brian P. Hamlin - Anthony De Rocher

Comments [2]

TJ Harvey from Huntington, NY

With an open mind, I tried to listen to this opera — really, I did — but couldn't take it. Disturbing, and not in a good way.

Ick.

Nov. 19 2011 06:12 PM
Griff from New Jersey

Like an unending Gershwinesque musical phase.

Interesting production but unfortunately mediocre.

However applauds to all involved.
I know it took a bit of work and great effort to realize this production.

Contemporary opera could be a magnificent experience if the composer truly study the Masters (not copy them either).

Nov. 19 2011 02:26 PM

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