American composer Jake Heggie’s masterpiece, the most widely performed new opera of the last 20 years, has 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.
Music by Jake Heggie, libretto by Terrence McNally
Based on the Book by Sister Helen Prejean
Production a gift of C. Graham Berwind, III; the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation; Ted Snowdon and Duffy Violante, in memory of Terrence McNally; and Mrs. Diane B. Wilsey
Additional funding from Franci Neely; Judy and Jim Pohlman; Denise Littlefield Sobel, in memory of Phyllis Cannon Wattis; and The H.M. Agnes Hsu-Tang, Ph.D. and Oscar Tang Endowment Fund