DiDonato, Heggie, and von Stade
Joyce DiDonato, Jake Heggie, and Frederica von Stade on campus at SMU. Image by Pam Pagels.

For the second time in less than five years, the Dallas Opera is producing the world premiere of an opera by composer Jake Heggie with the libretto by Terrence McNally. Great Scott opened Friday, October 30th and will continue its run at the Margo and Bill Winspear Opera House through November 15th.

A world premiere is a noteworthy event for any arts community, but for the Meadows Division of Music and the Hamon Library, this event has been especially significant. Not only have Meadows students had opportunity to see and hear the fully-staged opera, they also have met and learned from the creative and performing artists responsible for the production. Composer Jake Heggie and singers Frederica von Stade and Joyce DiDonato were on SMU’s campus giving a masterclass for Meadows singers on Tuesday, November 3.

Learning from successful composers and performers combined with being exposed to new repertory is vitally important to a young singer’s training and preparation for a career in music. This exposure is made possible by the quality of Meadows faculty and their connections to the professional opera world, which draws visits of world-class artists to the SMU campus.

We encourage young singers and other music students to attend the opera during its brief run in Dallas. We also recommend the Hamon Library collection which offers access to many scores and audiovisual recordings featuring the work of Mr. Heggie, Ms. DiDonato, and Ms. Von Stade.

Recommended resources in Hamon:

Listen: Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, which features DiDonato and von Stade.

Watch: Heggie’s Moby Dick, which was also a world premiere in Dallas.


Thanks to Pam Pagels, Music Librarian, for this guest blog!