Opera composer, Jake Heggie > UCLA Magazine

I was commissioned by Design Director, Charlie Hess, to photograph opera composer, Jake Heggie, at the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco.  Charlie's directive was simple:  "Choose a location that contextualizes what he does".  I love that.

2016_01_jake_heggie_153_cr_opt.jpg

Jake Heggie was working at the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco as a PR writer when, in one moment, his professional life changed forever.  The general director of the opera tapped him to compose a score for a libretto (the text of an opera) by playwright Terrence McNally.  That opera was the wildly successful Dead Man Walking.  He's currently working on the music for a new production of It's a Wonderful Life.

Jake was game for pretty much anything photographically.  He told me after checking out my website that he had total trust in me.  Always handy - that vote of confidence from your subject!  For this particular shot (above) he's actually listening to an original guitar composition of my own.  (Yes, I write and perform music.)  A second after this shot was taken he opened his eyes and said, "This is good".  Ha!

2016_01_jake_heggie_23_opt.jpg

Pencil and paper.  Yes, there are still those of us from the old school.  Littered (in a good way) with notes, notating music by hand affords Heggie the freedom to be more spontaneous.  This is the lobby of the opera house, where a few thousand people walk up those steps to hear his music in the hall on a given night. 

2016_01_jake_heggie_100_cr_opt.jpg

Harking back to the days working behind the scenes.

Visit the official Mitch Tobias Photographer website:  http://www.mitchtobias.com