Iconic Legacies: First Ladies at the Smithsonian (2015)

Words by Gene Scheer & Music by Jake Heggie

Four songs for Mezzo-Soprano and Piano.

The songs were inspired by iconic objects in the Smithsonian with a particular connection to a former First Lady of the United States.

Commissioned by Vocal Arts DC to celebrate its 25th Anniversary Season.

1. Eleanor Roosevelt: Marian Anderson’s Mink Coat
2. Mary Todd Lincoln: Abraham Lincoln’s Hat
3. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis: White House Christmas Card, 1963
4. Barbara Bush: The Muppets

Iconic Legacies: First Ladies at the Smithsonian
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.

Performance History

Mezzo-Soprano: Susan Graham
Piano: Jake Heggie
First Performance: September 12th 2015 at the Kennedy Center, Washington, DC.