Metro Weekly

Editor’s Pick: Mezzo-Soprano Jamie Barton In Recital At The Kennedy Center

Jamie Barton will be accompanied by Jake Heggie, a queer pianist revered for his work composing contemporary operas.

Jamie Barton -- Photo: Bree Anne Clowdus
Jamie Barton — Photo: Bree Anne Clowdus

Vocal Arts DC presents a concert at the Kennedy Center featuring vocalist Jamie Barton, the acclaimed bisexual opera star, with accompaniment by Jake Heggie, a queer pianist also revered for his work in composing standout contemporary operas.

Chief among Heggie’s notable works is his breakthrough Dead Man Walking, an operatic adaptation of Sister Helen Prejean’s famous book that he developed with Terrence McNally.

Barton and Heggie will perform music from The Breaking Waves at this recital, designed in part as a live showcase of the duo’s Grammy-nominated 2020 album Unexpected Shadows.

The program also includes the album’s song cycles “Of Gods & Cats,” set to poems by Gavin Dillard, and “Iconic Legacies: First Ladies at the Smithsonian,” set to poems by Gene Scheer and originally commissioned by Vocal Arts.

Also on tap at the concert is “What I Miss the Most,” a song cycle set to lyrics by an assorted bunch of strong, inspiring women, including Prejean, Joyce DiDonato, Patti Lupone, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Kathleen Kelly.

“Jamie Barton and Jake Heggie make music together in a way that is completely beguiling and infectious,” says Vocal Arts DC’s Peter Russell in a press release.

“It is an honor to welcome them back to our organization for the first time since our 25th anniversary season in the autumn of 2015, and I know their program will be a joyous occasion.”

Wednesday, April 6, at 7:30 p.m. Terrace Theater. Tickets are $50. Call 202-467-4700 or visit


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