Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)



Document Type



American composer Jake Heggie (b. 1961) gained recognition in 2000 with the premiere of his first opera Dead Man Walking. The success of this musical composition led to subsequent commissions from opera companies across the United States. In 2007, Heggie’s most recent opera, Four Decembers, premiered at the Houston Grand Opera. Heggie is currently working on another opera, Moby Dick, for the Dallas Opera and it is scheduled to premiere in 2010. Although much attention has been given to his operatic compositions, Heggie has also achieved critical success for his songs and song cycles. In 2002, Heggie’s song cycle The Deepest Desire premiered in Vail, Colorado. This song cycle, using texts of Helen Prejean, was Heggie’s first cycle following Dead Man Walking and will be the focus of the written document and lecture recital. The document will examine in detail the four songs comprising the cycle and give performance suggestions. The written document contains four chapters. Chapter One provides biographical information on Jake Heggie. Chapter Two gives biographical information on Helen Prejean, CSJ, and examines the professional relationship between Heggie and Prejean. Chapter Three provides information about the premiere and recordings of The Deepest Desire. Chapter Four looks in detail at the songs comprising the cycle as a guide for the performer. A Bibliography and Appendices will be included to provide more information on Jake Heggie, Helen Prejean, and The Deepest Desire.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Lori Bade



Included in

Music Commons