October 25, 2006

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LEWISBURG, Pa. — The Bucknell Opera Company will perform music from the operas of Jake Heggie: The End of the Affair and Dead Man Walking, Saturday, Nov. 4, at 7:30 p.m. in Weis Center for the Performing Arts at Bucknell University.

The performance, which is free to the public, is directed by Catherine Payn, associate professor of music at Bucknell, who says, "It is one of the unique features of Bucknell University that students have the opportunity to interact with internationally recognized performers and composers. Thanks to a generous gift from an anonymous donor, composer and pianist Jake Heggie was in residence at Bucknell this past September.

"During his time on campus this fall, Mr. Heggie worked with individual Bucknell singers in a master class, discussed his operas in preparation for this evening's performance, met with student composers, and coached pianists," she said.

The relationship between Heggie and the Bucknell Opera Company began in 2000 with an introduction offered by mezzo-soprano Frederika von Stade after she attended a production on campus, according to Payn.

First residency in 2003

"In 2003, Mr. Heggie and his colleagues — singers Nicole Foland, John Packard, Katherine Ciesinski, Robert Orth, David Okerlund, and Joseph Evans; conductor Judith Yan, director Leonard Foglia and librettist Heather MacDonald, — were in residence on the Bucknell campus to workshop The End of the Affair prior to the Houston premiere. They taught lessons, held panel discussions, and met with classes in addition to inviting the campus community to sit in on the workshop process," said Payn.

Heggie is the composer of the operas Dead Man Walking (libretto by Terrence McNally), The End of the Affair (libretto by Heather McDonald, Leonard Foglia and Jake Heggie) and the musical scene At The Statue of Venus (libretto by Terrence McNally). The recipient of a 2005/2006 Guggenheim fellowship, he has composed more than 200 songs, as well as concerti, orchestral works and chamber music.

Upcoming commissions include a music theater work for the Metropolitan Opera in association with Lincoln Center Theater; a short lyric drama, To Hell and Back (libretto by Gene Scheer), for the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra with singers Patti LuPone and Isabel Bayrakdarian, conducted by Nicholas McGehan; a three-person music theater work featuring Frederika von Stade for Houston Grand Opera and San Francisco Opera (libretto by Terrence McNally); a work for chorus and orchestra for the Pacific Chorale; and a song cycle for tenor Vinson Cole.

Posted Oct. 25, 2006


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