Jake Heggie, composer of the nationally acclaimed opera Moby-Dick that premiered at the Winspear Opera House in Dallas this spring, will serve as the artist-in-residence for UNT's Institute for the Advancement of the Arts for the 2010-11 academic year.
During his residency, Heggie will work on a commission from UNT to compose a major work for orchestra, chorus and soloist to further explore his interest in Moby-Dick. The UNT Symphony Orchestra and Grand Chorus will premiere the composition, which has a working title of "Ahab Symphony," on April 25, 2012, on campus. Internationally renowned tenor Richard Croft, a UNT professor of music, is slated to perform in the solo role of Ahab.
In addition, Heggie will coach composition and voice students and participate in other campus activities during his residency from Oct. 23 through Nov. 21 and Feb. 14 through Feb. 28.
"I am deeply honored and overjoyed to be UNT's artist-in-residence this coming year, and to create a new work especially for the university's extraordinary music program," Heggie says. "Education is every bit as important to me as composition, and I look forward to many rewarding interactions with students and faculty during my time on campus."
Also during the residency, UNT College of Music faculty members and graduate students will present a concert of Heggie's non-opera music in early November, with Heggie playing the piano for at least one work. The performance is slated as part of a series of inaugural concerts in UNT's newly renovated Concert Hall in the Music Building.
New 2010-11 faculty fellows for the Institute for the Advancement of the Arts also have been announced and will be granted release from other faculty duties for a semester to work on creative projects full time. The new fellows are David Bithell, assistant professor of music, who will work on a composition for the New York-based new music ensemble Yarn/Wire; Bruce Bond, Regents Professor of English, who plans to write a full-length book of poems provisionally titled The Fire Breather; and Lesli Robertson, lecturer in art, who will travel to Uganda to continue her research on bark cloth from the mutuba tree.
The institute, launched in fall 2009, is designed to support accomplished professionals in the visual, performing and creative literary arts.