BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN ROCKS NEW ORLEANS”
- a theatre piece for chorus and orchestra
JAKE HEGGIE’s theatre piece for chorus and orchestra, enigmatically entitled “Seeking Higher Ground: Bruce Springsteen Rocks New Orleans,” was commissioned by the Pacific Chorale for its inaugural concert celebrating the grand opening in the Fall of 2006 of the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall at the Orange County Center for the Performing Arts in Costa Mesa, California (renamed Segerstrom Center for the Arts in January 2011).
Presented with the PACIFIC SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA under the baton of PACIFIC CHORALE Music Director, JOHN ALEXANDER, the powerful piece rose to the grandeur of the occasion, holding the audience enthralled for the eight intense minutes of its duration.
The work, rich in musical and dramatic content (a Heggie trademark), celebrates the triumph of the human spirit over the tragedy wrought by hurricane Katrina. As HEGGIE points out in this interview, this uncommon theme for a choral piece presented itself to Sister HELEN PREJEAN (whose collaboration HEGGIE sought for the commission) as she witnessed the unifying impact on the injured and dispossessed of BRUCE SPRINSTEEN’s concert in New Orleans for the benefit of Katrina victims – clearly a tribute to the uplifting power of music.
It is a quality very much present in HEGGIE’s work–from his imaginative and very audible use of the human breath in the opening bars to the reverberant jubilation of the finale that sent the audience to their feet, in standing ovation, borne by the music to a spiritually higher ground.