Ruth C. Felt
Jake Heggie is the composer of the operas Dead Man Walking, Moby-Dick, It’s A Wonderful Life, If I Were You,Great Scott, Three Decembers and Two Remain, among others. “Arguably the world’s most popular 21st-century opera and art song composer” (The Wall Street Journal), he has also composed nearly 300 songs, as well as chamber, choral and orchestral works. The operas – most created with librettists Terrence McNally or Gene Scheer – have been produced on five continents. Dead Man Walking receives its 70th international production this year, making it one of the most performed operas of our time. The Metropolitan Opera recently announced it will produce Dead Man Walking during its 2020-21 season in a new production by director Ivo van Hove, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Moby-Dick was telecast throughout the United States as part of Great Performances’ 40th Season and released on DVD. Great Scott was a 2019 Grammy Award nominee for Best New Classical Composition. Heggie was awarded the Eddie Medora King prize from the UT Austin Butler School of Music and the Champion Award from the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus. A Guggenheim Fellow, the composer has served as a mentor for Washington National Opera’s American Opera Initiative as well as Chicago Opera Theater and CU Boulder. He is a frequent guest artist at universities, conservatories and festivals throughout the USA and Canada. Jake Heggie lives in San Francisco with his husband, Curt Branom. http://www.jakeheggie.com
Frederica von Stade
Recognized as one of the most beloved musical figures of our time, Frederica von Stade has enriched the world of classical music for three decades with her appearances in opera, concert, and recital. The mezzo-soprano is well known to audiences around the world through her numerous featured appearances on television including several PBS specials and “Live from Lincoln Center” telecasts. She has made over sixty recordings with every major label, including complete operas, aria albums, symphonic works, solo recital programs, and popular crossover albums. Her recordings have garnered six Grammy nominations, two Grand Prix du Disc awards, the Deutsche Schallplattenpreis, Italy’s Premio della Critica Discografica, and “Best of the Year” citations by Stereo Review and Opera News. Miss von Stade was awarded France’s highest honor in the Arts when she was appointed as an officer of L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, and in 1983 she was honored with an award given at The White House by President Reagan in recognition of her significant contribution to the arts.
Ms. von Stade was the featured performer at the opening ceremonies of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and also sang with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir at the Cultural Olympiad held in conjunction with the games. She currently resides in Alameda, California where she gives performances supporting the arts in local schools.