|Opera by Jake Heggie|
The opera's composer
|Based on||Some Christmas Letters|
by Terrence McNally
February 29, 2008
Three Decembers is a chamber opera in two acts by Jake Heggie to a libretto by Gene Scheer which is based on the unpublished play Some Christmas Letters by Terrence McNally. Created with a role for Frederica von Stade, the work premiered on 29 February 2008 at the Houston Grand Opera (HGO). It commissioned the work in association with the San Francisco Opera and Cal Performances.
The opera was first presented under the working title Last Acts at the world premiere by the Houston Grand Opera. The premiere production was directed by Leonard Foglia with lighting designed by Brian Nason and costumes by Cesar Galindo. The ten-instrument chamber orchestra included two pianos played Heggie himself and Patrick Summers, who also conducted the performance.
The three parts of the opera are set in the month of December in the years 1986, 1996 and 2006 and it tells the story of a famous actress, Madeline, and her two adult children as they struggle to know and love each other. "It is the universal story about the family we wish for and the family we wind up with."
|Role||Voice type||Premiere cast, 29 February 2008|
Conductor: Patrick Summers
|Madeline (Maddie), a famous actress||mezzo-soprano||Frederica von Stade|
|Charlie, Madeline's son||baritone||Keith Phares|
|Beatrice (Bea), Madeline's daughter||soprano||Kristin Clayton|
- Sohre, James (March 17, 2008). "Heggie's "Last Acts"". Opera Today. Retrieved April 28, 2016.
- Sigman, Matthew (July 2015). "Composing a Life". Opera News. Retrieved April 28, 2016.
- University of Pittsburgh OCC (November 18, 2011). "The Three Decembers". Retrieved April 28, 2016.
- Griffel, Margaret Ross (2012). Operas in English: A Dictionary, p. 267. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 0810883252
- Blank, Matt (6 March 2008). "Photo Journal: Jake Heggie's Last Acts Premieres at Houston Grand Opera". Playbill. Retrieved 2008-03-31.