Pulling at heartstrings: 'Violins of Hope' live at Kohl Mansion

The world premiere of Intonations: Songs from the Violins of Hope, by composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer, forms the powerful center of the new Pentatone release . . . emotionally devastating and cathartic.
Announcing the CD release of Violins of Hope.
Jan 26, 2021

Jamie Barton and Jake Heggie Blaze Forth in Unexpected Shadows

Parsing which is more sensational, the artistry or the music, is beyond the point. Unexpected Shadows (Pentatone), the all-Heggie recital from mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton, composer/pianist Jake Heggie, and cellist Matt Haimovitz, is destined to win multiple “Best Vocal Recital of the Year” awards as it makes the best possible case for the necessity and relevance of modern American classical song.
Aug 18, 2020

Violins of Hope West Coast Debut Hailed a Success!

Violins of Hope West Coast Debut Hailed a Success!
World Premiere of Intonations: Songs from the Violins of Hope, a Music at Kohl Mansion commissioned work by composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer, given five different debut performances in Burlingame, San Jose and San Francisco; live performance recorded for future release on Pentatone.
Feb 21, 2020

These musical instruments survived the Holocaust. Now they honor the musicians who did not.

The centerpiece of the instruments’ residency is the premiere of “Intonations,” Heggie’s song cycle, written to a libretto by Gene Scheer for mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke with violinist Daniel Hope and a string quartet drawn from the Opera Orchestra. Each song represents the voice of a different violin, telling its own story.
Jan 05, 2020

Chicago Opera Theater scales the heights with “Everest,” “Aleko”

There are a myriad of reasons why an operatic adaptation of Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air should not work. And yet it does. Composer Talbot and librettist Gene Scheer have crafted a compelling 70-minute opera adapted from Krakauer’s nonfiction account of the disastrous 1996 Everest season in which eight people died.
Nov 17, 2019

This Superb Moby Dick is a Defining Point in Chicago Opera Theater's History

It takes multiple ingredients for an opera to work, starting with a captivating story, which Moby-Dick” obviously has. But that sprawling novel had to be honed to a usable form, and Gene Scheer, one of today’s go-to librettists, did a first-rate job of conveying its scale and intimacy with vivid, imagistic language.
Apr 26, 2019