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Jake Heggie - Dead Man Walking Live


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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Prelude - Patrick Summers
  2. Prologue - Patrick Summers
  3. He Will Gather Us Around
  4. Be Careful, People Have Always Told Me.
  5. This journey. This journey to Christ.
  6. Sister Helen? I've Been Waiting for You
  7. Some of Them Didn't Look So Bad
  8. I Don't Like That Man
  9. Woman On the Tier!
  10. Thank You
  11. A warm night
  12. The Defendant's Mother, Mrs. Patrick De Rocher - Frederica Von Stade
  13. It's a good sign when you take so long
  14. You Don't Know What It's Like to Bear a Child
  15. It is the decision of this Pardon Board
  16. Guess your nun ain't comin' back, De Rocher. Excuse me. Do you have any change?
  17. He Will Gather Us Around

Disc: 2

  1. Prelude - Patrick Summers
  2. 31...32...33... - John Packard
  3. Oh!...Now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
  4. Sometimes forgiveness is in the smallest gesture
  5. What Time Is It?
  6. Wow! Those new Ford Mustangs are so cool
  7. Don't Say a Word
  8. Who Will Walk With Me?
  9. Good Evening
  10. I've Said Some Harsh Things
  11. You're a Regular Illustrated Man, De Rocher - David Okerlund
  12. How Much Longer? How Much More Time?
  13. We'd Been Drinkin' and Smokin' Weed at the Road House
  14. Dead Man Walking!
  15. 'He will gather around us'
  16. Applause

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9b1cb714) out of 5 stars 12 reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ac1b7bc) out of 5 stars Opera for a twenty-first century audience 8 May 2002
By Tyler - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Jake Heggie's first opera, Dead Man Walking, is a triumph of musical and dramatic genius. McNally's libretto tightens the scope of Prejean's lengthy narrative to its dramatic essentials. The story is moving and poignant: an exploration of the intense and vivid emotions surrounding this deeply complicated process, but mixed with wonderful bits of humor and lighter sentiment. The duet about Las Vegas is particularly entertaining, and also touching in its personability.
Heggie is at home writing for the voice, which is apparent in the hymn "He will gather us around", but also in Joe's aria "A Warm Night...", the Act 2 Duet between Sister Helen and Sister Rose, and also von Stade's moving goodbye to Joe in Act 2. It's rediculously inaccurate to say that there are no hummable tunes in the opera, and every one of those tunes has a special place on the dramatic trajectory of this powerful work. The singing is also fabulous. John Packard is better live than on recording, but the acting comes across wonderfully. Susan Graham's use of myriad vocal colors is fantastic, and her crystal diction is vital for this wonderfully vernacular libretto. It's hard to believe that this is a live recording; I've never been in an opera house where people were that quiet. Just further proof, I suppose, of the powerful grip that the opera has over an audience.
The most important aspect of the work, though, is its accessibility to both veteran opera-philes and those who have very little exposure to the genre. It's inclusion of musical material more classified in a gospel or rock idiom and it's use of motives for emotional impact work to include the audience rather than alienate them. In contrast to much of contemporary opera, Dead Man Walking leaves the audience feeling included, and moved, and loved. I would recommend this recording to all levels of opera exposure, all musical tastes, and anyone who has ever had to deal with losing someone they love--it speaks to everyone.
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ac1b810) out of 5 stars Oh My God!!!! 6 Feb. 2002
By Gregory J. Diercks - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I first listened to this recording on a plane last week. The women sitting next to me asked me "If I was OK." I was frequently moved to tears. I listened to it again while I was laying on the beach on vacation last week. Again, the people around me wondered if I was OK or not - more tears. Most everyone probably already knows the story of this opera so I won't discuss that here, but I will say that the condensation of the plot is amazingly concise and to the point. The singing is phenomenal - Susan Graham brings incredible life to the role of Sisten Helen. Flicka von Stade, as the mother, brings a pathos and humanity to her role.
Buy this recording, listen to if frequently - you will be moved.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ac1bd80) out of 5 stars A Moving 20th Century Opera 8 April 2002
By M Williams - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This opera is quite moving. While it doesn't have the showstoppers of a Donizetti or Rossini opera some of the reviewers are looking for (few, if any modern operas will as they are through-composed), it has some haunting music that is quite moving. Time indeed will tell, and I believe that it will show this opera to be one of the greatest from the recent additions to American opera....That is missing the point and missing the enjoyment of a beautiful work of American music. The performances are superb. Buy this recording and judge for yourself. You won't be disappointed.
24 of 33 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9af34030) out of 5 stars It Could Have Been More 26 Jun. 2002
By Christopher Forbes - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This opera has it's moments and they are glorious moments. The story is powerful and the central idea is important. Jake Heggie is a wonderfully lyrical composer. He really knows how to show off the voice and has an innate sense of drama. He also proves a brilliant orchestrator. The duet on forgiveness in the second act is very moving...as is the music for Von Stade. Occasionlly the opera goes a bit over the top, particularly at the end of the first act, where Sister Helen seems to be having a psychotic break...seems a bit much. But more often the piece is pretty understated for an opera and the ending is extremely effective.
So why only three stars? I think the problem rests with the libretto. This opera continues the deplorable late 20th century trend in opera toward sung play. As opera houses move toward commissioning playwrites such as McNally and William Hoffman as librettists the things that distiguish the particular art of the librettist are dying out. This opera libretto reads like a play. While there are a few ensembles that attempt to present multiple viewpoints simulteneously, they don't compare to the great ensemble situations of a Da Ponte or Boito. And perhaps more importantly, though McNally does include soliloquies, they are in a rather straightforward prose...one that is hard to set well in music. Too many syllables and too little verbal rhythm. As a result, no matter how hard Heggie struggles (and he does a heroic job at this) the opera never bursts into song, as it obviously wants to. Some will say that this is because the opera is throughcomposed, as is the style in modern opera. While that's true, you only have to listen to the operas of Barber or Carlisle Floyd to here examples of throughcomposed opera that still retains the sense of song. Even Nixon in China manages to create a sense of song while remaining throughcomposed.
Perhaps the difference is that in the most successful contemporary opera libretti, the librettist is either the composer, or a poet. In many ways, the best choice for a modern librettist is to follow the practice of Broadway and let the dialogue be written by a playwrite, reserving the set pieces (and most operas still have set pieces, even Britten) for a poet or lyricist. Certainly, this would have helped this opera to do what opera can do best, soar.
Hard to review this one. I like it, but with reservations.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9af34114) out of 5 stars Challenging in many dimensions 9 Jun. 2004
By M M - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I think that this opera (or it's subject more generally) gets to the heart of the entire debate about capital punishment - if we could devise a test that was perfect in its ability to distinguish the guilty from the innocent, would we still be willing to execute people for horrendous crimes. Having just seen this opera in a performance in Pittsburgh, I'm not sure. One of the amazing things about this opera is the extent to which it presents the conflicts associated with the death penalty without manipulating the observer. Is this despicable person really worth anyone's time? Is there some sense in which his death is warranted as retribution for his crimes? Would his death provide any sort of compensation to the surviving victims of his crimes? I honestly have no idea. But an extraordinary feature of this opera is the way in which it introduces these issues without biasing the viewer. During the after-show dinner, my wife and I discussed these issues a number of times. Any work that induces that type of reflection about the deeper underlying issues is worthwhile from my point of view.
In terms of the music, I suppose that there are moments of power and beauty. We're talking about a modern opera, so there aren't many hummable songs (see Broadway if you want those.) I suspect that the entire endeavor is more effective in person.
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