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Met preview: Jake Heggie's "Dead Man Walking"

Jake Heggie's "Dead Man Walking"
The Metropolitan Opera
Jake Heggie's "Dead Man Walking"

This Saturday's matinee broadcast from The Metropolitan Opera features American composer Jake Heggie’s "Dead Man Walking." It's the most widely performed new opera of the last 20 years, making its highly anticipated Met premiere in a haunting new production by Ivo van Hove. Based on Sister Helen Prejean’s memoir about her fight for the soul of a condemned murderer, Dead Man Walking matches the high drama of its subject with Heggie’s beautiful and poignant music and a brilliant libretto by Terrence McNally. Met Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin takes the podium for this landmark premiere, with mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato starring as Sister Helen. The outstanding cast also features bass-baritone Ryan McKinny as the death-row inmate Joseph De Rocher, soprano Latonia Moore as Sister Rose, and legendary mezzo-soprano Susan Graham—who sang Helen Prejean in the opera’s 2000 premiere—as De Rocher’s mother.

Joshua Borths, Resident Scholar at Virginia Opera gives us a preview and you can hear his segments on my "Afternoon Classical" show each Friday afternoon just before 5pm. Tune in to hear "Dead Man Walking" Saturday afternoon, January 20th at 1pm on VPM Music, 93.1 and 107.3 in central Virginia and streaming online here at!

Content Advisory: Dead Man Walking contains a depiction of a rape and murder, as well as other adult themes and strong language. It may not be suitable for all audiences.

Yours in good music,
Mike Goldberg
Classical Host, VPM Music