The influence of Sister Helen Prejean on the life and work of Jake Heggie as seen in the song cycle The Deepest Desire: Four Meditations on Love.

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Jake Heggie, American art song and opera composer, began his association with Sister Helen Prejean, CSJ when he composed Dead Man Walking, an operatic adaptation of her memoirs. Though from two very different backgrounds, the two developed a deep friendship and spiritual bond that provided the impetus for further compositions dealing with spirituality. Heggie adapted Prejean's meditations as a text for his song cycle The Deepest Desire in 2002, producing what he considers to be his finest work to date. Using The Deepest Desire as a gateway, this paper explores the social and cultural aspects of their association, revealing their ... continued below

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Beasley, Rebecca Choate December 2008.

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  • Beasley, Rebecca Choate

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Jake Heggie, American art song and opera composer, began his association with Sister Helen Prejean, CSJ when he composed Dead Man Walking, an operatic adaptation of her memoirs. Though from two very different backgrounds, the two developed a deep friendship and spiritual bond that provided the impetus for further compositions dealing with spirituality. Heggie adapted Prejean's meditations as a text for his song cycle The Deepest Desire in 2002, producing what he considers to be his finest work to date. Using The Deepest Desire as a gateway, this paper explores the social and cultural aspects of their association, revealing their personal perspectives on their relationship, collaborations, and shared sense of spirituality. Chapters include the biographies and spiritual philosophies of both Heggie and Prejean, Heggie's compositional style, Dead Man Walking, a performance analysis of The Deepest Desire, and the continuing influence of the relationship between Heggie and Prejean on Heggie's work. The appendix includes transcriptions of personal interviews with both individuals, Prejean's original meditation texts, correspondence with Heggie, Prejean, and Joyce DiDonato, and performance notes for The Deepest Desire derived from a musical coaching with the composer.

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  • December 2008

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  • Sept. 9, 2009, 2:31 p.m.

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  • Nov. 16, 2009, 10:33 a.m.

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Beasley, Rebecca Choate. The influence of Sister Helen Prejean on the life and work of Jake Heggie as seen in the song cycle The Deepest Desire: Four Meditations on Love., dissertation, December 2008; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9795/: accessed October 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .