articles / Classical Californians

Classical Californians: Jake Heggie

Content image

James Niebuhr

Jake Heggie was our very first Classical Californian last September - kicking off our series in the same month the Metropolitan Opera in New York City was opening its season with the work that established his career, Dead Man Walking, that had its premiere in 2000. He's continued to write operas, chamber works, songs and more, and is also a sought-after vocal accompanist on the piano. His most recent opera, which had its premiere last Fall, is Intelligence, based on the true story of two women who infiltrated the Confederate White House during the American Civil War. Jake Heggie will also be one of Lara Downes' special guests, with mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade, at our next SKY Concert at the end of May. (You can find out more about tickets here.)

Jake’s first selection is a performance by his dear friend, mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade, whose friends call her “Flicka”… Press the play button to hear his introduction:

Jake Heggie - 1

Canteloube: "Baïlèro" from Chants d'Auvergne

Next up is a work of his own, a movement from The Work at Hand, called "The Slow Seconds, sung by Jamie Barton, with Jake Heggie on piano, and cellist Matt Haimovitz.

Jake Heggie - 2

Heggie: The Work at Hand, mvt. 3 - "The Slow Seconds"

The next work he introduces is Mason Bates’ Philharmonia Fantastique, a work that fuses traditional classical styles, electronica, and animated and live action film into a fun introduction to the instruments of the orchestra:

Jake Heggie - 3

Mason Bates: Philharmonia Fantastique - Woodwinds

Mason Bates: Philharmonia Fantastique - Strings

An artist who made a great impression on him years ago was Brazilian pianist Guiomar Novaes, who we'll hear play the middle movement from Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 1.

Jake Heggie - 4
Chopin: Piano Concerto No. 1 mvt. 2 Romance (Guiomar Novaes)

And he ends with a movement of a work called Joan and the Bells by Gordon Getty, who might be more widely known as a philanthropist, but whose style, Jake Heggie says, is truly his own.

Jake Heggie - 5

Gordon Getty: Joan and the Bells - III. The Square at Rouen

And finally, some closing thoughts.

Jake Heggie - 6

Published on 04.24.2024