Jake Heggie’s Opera ‘Dead Man Walking’

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Hands hanging out of a prison cell


About this event:

Event type:
Booking required | In-person
£25 (£15 concessions)
Silk Street Theatre

Digital Programme & Freesheet

Event information

Dead Man Walking by composer Jake Heggie and librettist Terrence McNally is one of the most powerful and thought-provoking operas of recent decades, exploring questions of faith, redemption and justice.

Based on the memoir of the same name by Sister Helen Prejean, it tells the true story of a nun’s journey as a spiritual advisor to a convicted murderer on death row in Louisiana's hardline state penitentiary.

Since its premiere by San Francisco Opera in 2000, Dead Man Walking has become one of the world’s most-performed American operas, yet has been rarely staged in the UK.

Martin Lloyd-Evans directs this Guildhall School production.

“Dead Man Walking is no ordinary opera. The human drama transforms us” – The Guardian

“A work of intense music drama that deserves to be heard.” – Bachtrack

Please note this production contains adult content, including depictions of and reference to rape, murder and execution; strong language (including references to violence); scenes of physical and emotional abuse; and reference to drug and alcohol abuse. There will also be strobe lighting, haze, on-stage smoking and gun shots.

Based on the book by Sister Helen Prejean
This opera was commissioned by San Francisco Opera
By arrangement with Bent Pen Music, Inc. Sole Agent: Bill Holab Music

Approximate running time: 2 hours 55 minutes including one interval

Cast and Creative team

Hear from Jake Heggie and Sister Helen Prejean

We were thrilled that Jake Heggie and Sister Helen Prejean recently took the time to dial in from North America to speak exclusively to the cast and creative team members behind this production.

This exciting hour-long event offered Guildhall students and staff the chance to ask questions directly to both speakers, providing an invaluable opportunity to learn more about the remarkable real-life experience of Sister Helen, and how her story formed the inspiration for Jake’s composition.

Click on the drop-down links below to watch clips from their conversation, and find out more on the News pages of our website.

Venue information

Silk Street Theatre, Music Hall and Lecture Recital Room are located in the main Guildhall School building on Silk Street and for Barbican produced events the venue can also be accessed from the Barbican if you exit via the doors next to Barbican Kitchen on Level G. 

Silk Street
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