Dead Man Walking
A recording on compact discs of Heggie's recent opera Dead Man Walking with Susan Graham and Frederica von Stade was released in the United States on January 8, 2002.

Also at
Terrence McNally's libretto for the opera Dead Man Walking was based on the book Dead Man Walking : An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty in the United States by Sister Helen Prejean.  The book is available from
Heggie : Dead Man Walking (2 CD). pages about the making of Dead Man Walking
Opera Pages
"Like the stage version, the CD captures the humanity and anguish that elevated the opera above the controversial issue of the death penalty that was at the core of Sister Helen's book and the subsequent film adaptation. The musical and lyrical grandeur of the opera was acclaimed at its premiere and this CD provides listeners who weren't there the opportunity to judge for themselves," said R. W. Deutsch on 10 January 2002 at
Houston Grand Opera recording released in 2012
"However appealing, Mr. Heggie's music is just not strong enough to take on this complex story," wrote Anthony Tommasini in the New York Times of September 16, 2002, about a performance at the New York City Opera.
"Dead Man Walking is well-crafted. Its intentions are lofty. It is eminently stage-worthy and pleasantly euphonious. This may be very good claptrap. But it's claptrap still," wrote Martin Bernheimer at, also about the New York City Opera production.

"The opera seems meretricious when it wants to be engrossing, manipulative when it needs to be poignant. It ends up shamelessly sentimental; soapy platitudes clogging simplistic messages."
But, Ronald Blum wrote, in an Associated Press review dated September 15, 2002:  "Jake Heggie's 'Dead Man Walking' is the most compelling new American opera in decades, and it's easy to see why companies have rushed to stage it."