Jake Heggie

Photo by James Niebuhr

Spring Forward (2020)

PRIMAVERA I the wind

from the composer 

My favorite time of year is the front edge of Spring, when we wake from a groggy Winter’s sleep to notice buds appearing, blossoms and grasses pushing through insistently, magically, powerfully; slowly at first, then bursting forth everywhere. Best of all, we anticipate longer days and daylight savings time, when we set our clocks ahead an hour. To remind us which way to set the clock, I was always told “Spring Forward – Fall Back.” Like Spring, Music is all about possibility, momentum, what lies ahead and the mystery of what will emerge. The piece I wrote for Matt Haimovitz is a virtuoso Tarantella, constantly building, surprising and illuminating, faster and faster. To my great delight, he has lavishly embellished and personalized an already challenging score to add to the excitement of what will happen next. 


 “Arguably the world’s most popular 21st century opera and art song composer” (The Wall Street Journal), JAKE HEGGIE is best known for his acclaimed operas Dead Man Walking, Moby-Dick, It’s A Wonderful Life, Great Scott, Three Decembers, Two Remain and If I Were You. The operas and his nearly 300 art songs have been performed extensively on five continents, championed by some of the world’s most beloved artists. Dead Man Walking has received 70 international productions and two live recordings since its San Francisco Opera premiere, making it the most widely performed American opera of our time. The Metropolitan Opera has announced a new production of Dead Man Walking for a future season starring Joyce DiDonato, directed by Ivo van Hove and conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Songs for Murdered Sisters, a song cycle to poetry by Margaret Atwood for baritone Joshua Hopkins, recently received its premiere in an acclaimed film by director James Niebuhr, streamed by Houston Grand Opera and released on Pentatone. Last season featured the world premiere of Intonations: Songs from the Violins of Hope (texts by Gene Scheer), a dramatic song cycle performed by mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke and violinist Daniel Hope with string quartet. Recorded live by Pentatone, the work was commissioned to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz. Pentatone also recently released Unexpected Shadows, featuring beloved mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton, cellist Matt Haimovitz and Heggie in a recital of Heggie’s songs. Jake Heggie lives in San Francisco with his husband, Curt Branom.