Festival Opera to Celebrate Jake Heggie During 30th Anniversary Season

By David Salazar

The Festival Opera in Walnut Creek, California has announced that it will celebrate its 30th anniversary season with the world premiere of “A Jake Heggie Triptych.”

The work, which will be directed by Mark Foehringer and conducted by Bryan Nies, is set to take place on August 13 and 15, 2021 at the Hofmann Theatre at the Lesher Center for the Arts.

The showcase features three song cycles by Heggie reimagined as fully staged chamber operas. The song cycles include “At the Statue of Venus,” “Camile Claudel: Into the Fire,” and “For a Look or a Touch.”

“I’m thrilled and deeply honored that Festival Opera will present this dynamic triptych of my compositions, beautifully cast with stunning performers! The human quest for identity and connection links this trio of works, which were created with my most frequent collaborators – Gene Scheer and the late, great American playwright Terrence McNally,” Heggie said in a press release. “What a dream for this to unfold in the East Bay, where long ago I studied piano as a teenager with Doris Marliave in Walnut Creek, composition with Ernst Bacon in Orinda, and graduated from College Park High School in Pleasant Hill! Zachary Gordin and his team at Festival Opera have set the stage for a dynamic evening of soaring lyricism and drama. I can’t wait!”

“At the Statue of Venus,” which features a libretto by Terrence McNally will feature the composer performing alongside Carrie Hennessy. “Camile Claudel: Into the Fire,” which was written by Gene Scheer, will feature Diana Tash. Finally, “For a Look or a Touch,” also written by Scheer, will star Zachary Gordin and Curt Branom.