Frederica Von Stade & Her Collaboration With Jake Heggie

By Francisco Salazar

Frederica Von Stade is one of the most beloved mezzo-sopranos. Her infectious charisma and gorgeous voice have made her a legend and a mentor for many singers.

Throughout her career, she sang numerous works from Rossini, Donizetti, Cherubini, Mozart and Massenet. However, one of the collaborations that has flourished in recent years is her relationship with Jake Heggie.

The first work the two did was in 1995 when Heggie dedicated Three Folk Songs to Von Stade. She would later perform more song cycles through 2000. And then in 2000 came the world premiere of “Dead Man Walking,” an opera she became acclaimed for. The recording was later released on CD. She was also featured in a 2012 recording with Joyce DiDonato.

Her following opera collaboration came in 2008 “Three Decembers.” That opera was hailed as a modern masterpiece and was written for three female singers. Von Stade was featured in the world premiere at the Houston Opera, which commissioned the opera. The production also starred Kristin Clayton and Keith Phares.

In 2015 Von Stade collaborated in Heggie’s latest opera “Great Scott” at the Dallas Opera. The opera also starred Joyce DiDonato, Ailyn Pérez, Nathan Gunn and Anthony Roth Costanzo.

Von Stade also appears on numerous albums of Heggie’s music including “Passing By: Songs by Jake Heggie,” “Flesh & Stone: The Songs Of Jake Heggie,” and “The Faces of Love – The Songs of Jake Heggie.”

The two are set to collaborate this month for the premiere of “Spinning Song” at the Carnegie Hall performance “Imagine a World – Music For Humanity.”


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