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Dead Man Walking

Guildhall School of Music & Drama

Close up of the tattooed arms of a prisoner in orange uniform, with hands inserted between prison bars

Guildhall School presents one of the most powerful and thought-provoking operas of recent decades, exploring questions of faith, redemption and justice.

Based on the memoir of the same name by Sister Helen Prejean, Dead Man Walking by composer Jake Heggie and librettist Terrence McNally tells the true story of a nun’s journey as a spiritual advisor to a convicted murderer on death row in Louisiana's hardline state penitentiary.

Since its premiere by San Francisco Opera in 2000, Dead Man Walking has become one of the world’s most-performed American operas, yet has been rarely staged in the UK.

Martin Lloyd-Evans directs this Guildhall School production.

Please note this production contains adult content, including depictions of and reference to rape, murder and execution; strong language (including references to violence); scenes of physical and emotional abuse; and reference to drug and alcohol abuse. There will also be strobe lighting, haze, on-stage smoking and gun shots.

Approximate running time: 2 hours 55 minutes including one interval

Presented by Guildhall School of Music & Drama

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

‘Dead Man Walking is no ordinary opera. The human drama transforms us‘
The Guardian
‘A work of intense music drama that deserves to be heard‘

Dead Man Walking Digital Programme

Over the course of the 2022–23 season Guildhall School of Music & Drama has been trialling digital programmes to reduce the environmental impact of performances, improve accessibility and offer additional online material to enhance the audience experience.

Access the Digital Programme for Dead Man Walking.

You can also download the Freesheet for Dead Man Walking, detailing the full cast and creative team, which audience members can print if they wish to. (Please note that this Freesheet is not intended for viewing on a mobile device during the performance, please access the Digital Programme for that purpose).

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