Scheduled to premiere in March 2021 at Dallas Opera.
Intonations: Songs from the Violins of Hope (2020)
A 40-minute song cycle for mezzo-soprano, solo violin, string quartet and youth solo violin. Texts by Gene Scheer based on stories about violins played by Jews in concentration camps during the Holocaust; inspired by James Grymes’ book Violins of Hope: Violins
If I Were You (2019)
An opera in two acts by composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer. Loosely based on the novel Si j’étais vous by the French-American writer Julien Green, If I Were You is a contemporary story of identity with echoes of
Out of Darkness: Two Remain (2016)
An opera by Heggie and Scheer, based on Holocaust stories commissioned by Music of Remembrance
It’s a Wonderful Life (2016)
Made famous by the 1946 Frank Capra movie, this timeless tale follows a troubled banker whose guardian angel helps us realize the lasting impact our lives can have on those around us.
FROM THE WSJ REVIEW (2/3/15):” Everest,” a remarkable first opera by the British composer Joby Talbot, which had its world premiere at the Dallas Opera on Friday, forges art from a contemporary tragedy. Based on the true story of three climbers trapped on Mount Everest in a blizzard in May 1996 , this 70-minute juggernaut makes you feel disturbingly in the moment, living—and dying—along with the characters..
Gene Scheer’s taut, streamlined libretto, drawn from interviews with survivors, focuses on two situations: Rob Hall (the expedition leader) and Doug Hansen push on to the summit even though Doug is unwell, and Beck Weathers stays behind and gets lost. The fragmentation of the narrative builds suspense, and the stories are welded together by a chorus that echoes and questions the climbers.”
Cold Mountain (2015)
FROM THE WASHINGTON POST REVIEW (8/16/15) “The odyssey of the battle-scarred warrior making his precarious way back to a lover waiting at home is the oldest story in Western literature — the stuff of epic poems, plays, novels, movies and many operas. So it is a delight to report that the newest manifestation of this oft-told tale — the opera version of the best-selling novel “Cold Mountain,” just given its world premiere in Santa Fe — captures all of its adventure, romance and pathos in a fresh, vibrant musical idiom.”
Iconic Legacies: First Ladies at the Smithsonian (2015)
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.
The Radio Hour (2014)
Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer have come up with what seems to be a brand new form with “The Radio Hour”: A fully staged choral opera. In 40 minutes and three parts, it tells the story of Nora, a middle-age woman having a very bad day who seeks solace by locking herself inside her apartment and turning on the radio. Nora doesn’t sing, though, or make any other kind of peep. She is played by a silent actress. The chorus represents the inner monologue of her life and the imaginative possibilities that await her.
Farewell Auschwitz (2013)
For soprano, mezzo-soprano, baritone and piano, or with clarinet, violin, cello, bass, and piano. The songs for “Farewell Auschwitz” are free translations of lyrics created by Krystyna Zywulska while she was imprisoned at Auschwitz-Birkenau. The piece, commissioned by Music of Remembrance, was premiered in Seattle at Benaroya Hall.