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Dead Man Walking

starring Joyce DiDonato

Joyce DiDonato in Dead Man Walking

Joyce DiDonato leads a magnificent cast as Sister Helen Prejean in the UK premiere of Jake Heggie’s powerful operatic exploration of the US justice system and capital punishment.

Written in 2000 to a libretto by Terrence McNally, Dead Man Walking is based on Sister Helen Prejean’s book about her work with condemned prisoners on death row. The opera centres on the powerful relationship that developed between a convicted murderer awaiting execution, Joseph De Rocher, and the nun who fights for clemency. It put Heggie on the map as a major force in modern opera, and Dead Man Walking has received numerous revivals worldwide. Mark Wigglesworth returns to the BBC SO to conduct an evening likely to stir up strong emotions.


5.45pm, Frobisher Auditorium 1

Pre-concert talk with Jake Heggie

Free to ticket-holders. Entrance will be on a first come, first served basis.


Part of our 2018 Season, The Art of Change, which explores how artists respond to, reflect and can potentially effect change in the social and political landscape.

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

Part of The Art of Change

Our 2018 season explores how the arts respond to, reflect and potentially effect change in the social and political landscape.


Download the programme

Barbican Hall