Jake Heggie's operas do not get the amount of exposure in the UK that they do in America. For some reason his brand of approachable contemporary music, a style which is very much an American development, is viewed with a little mistrust, as if contemporary opera must always be difficult. The closest we come in the UK is someone like Jonathan Dove and even his operas do not always get the exposure that they deserve.
Whilst we must wait for a London staging of Heggie's Dead Men Walking we can look forward to two performances of Heggie's chamber opera For a Look or a Touch on 19th and 20th November at The Kings Head, Islington, presented by Fusebox Productions. For a Look or a Touch deals with a pair of gay lovers both imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp and is based on the journals of a real-life figure, Manfred Lewin. With Duncan Rock and Robert French as the lovers, and an instrumental ensemble conducted by Alice Turner, directed by Sandra Martinovic, it should be a thought provoking event. The evening concludes with a semi-staged version of An American Songbook, with music by William Bolcom and Richard Rodney Bennett sung by Jonathan Lemalu