THE WORLD PREMIERE
Since its premiere in 2000, Dead Man Walking, the first opera by composer Jake Heggie and librettist Terrence McNally, has become one of the opera world’s most performed new works. Commissioned by San Francisco Opera (then headed by Lotfi Mansouri) first performed on October 7, 2000 at San Francisco’s War Memorial Opera House, it is based on the prize-winning book by Sister HELEN PREJEAN, CSJ which tells the story of a nun who becomes the spiritual advisor to a condemned man on Louisiana’s death row. The original run of seven performances was increased to nine due to popular demand, and most performances were sold out. LEARN MORE about the WORLD PREMIERE.
In 2001 a new production of Dead Man Walking was commissioned by seven American opera companies: Opera Pacific, Cincinnati Opera, New York City Opera, Austin Lyric Opera, Michigan Opera Theater, Pittsburgh Opera and Baltimore Opera. Directed by Leonard Foglia and designed by Michael McGarty, the production features costumes by Jess Goldstein and lighting by Brian Nason.
Since then other new productions have been staged in the US, Europe, Australia and South Africa as listed below. There have been more than 120 performances worldwide in the opera’s 10 years of existence.
PRODUCTIONS TO DATE
The following opera companies have performed or scheduled future performances of DEAD MAN WALKING:
- San Francisco Opera (2000) – World Premiere
- Opera Pacific (2002) – New Production
- Cincinnati Opera (2002)
- New York City Opera (2002)
- Austin Lyric Opera (2003)
- Michigan Opera Theater (2003)
- State Opera of South Australia (2003) – First International Production
- Pittsburgh Opera (2004) – Live Broadcast on National Public Radio
- Calgary Opera (2006) – New Production. Canadian Premiere.
- Baltimore Opera (2006)
- Dresden Semperoper (2006) – New Production. European Premiere.
- Malmö Opera (2006-2007) – New Production. Scandinavian Premiere.
- Sydney, Australia (2007) – New Production
- Dresden Semperoper (2007) – Revival.
- Vienna Klangbogen Festival (2007)
- Hagen, Germany (2007-2008)
- Dublin, Ireland (2007) – New Production
- University of Colorado at Boulder (2007) – New Production. First complete university production.
- University of Nebraska in Lincoln. (2008) – New Production. Directed by William Shomos and conducted by Tyler White.
- Malmö Opera (2009) (revival)
- Fort Worth Opera (2009)
- Dresden SemperOper (2009) (revival)
- Royal Danish Theatre in Copenhagen (2009)
- Cape Town Opera, South Africa (2009)
- Houston Grand Opera (2011) – 10th Anniversary Production
- Union Avenue Opera, St. Louis (2011)
A live recording from the premiere of Dead Man Walking was released on the ERATO Disques label in 2001. BUY THE CD