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Songs for Murdered Sisters, by Jake Heggie


Houston Grand Opera / Houston / Art

One morning in 2015, a convicted domestic abuser on parole went out and by lunchtime had killed three ex partners. One of them was Nathalie Warmerdam. In memory of all three women, Warmerdam’s brother Joshua Hopkins, a baritone, has commissioned a half-hour song cycle, pairing poems by Margaret (The Handmaid’s Tale) Atwood with music by Jake (Dead Man Walking) Heggie. “Such a tragedy must not be forgotten,” Hopkins has written on Facebook, noting that the pandemic has seen a sharp spike in emergency domestic-violence calls. Given the caliber and moral vision of the creative team he has assembled, their message promises to be one of substance. Delayed by the pandemic, the premiere goes forward in digital form on Marquee TV. —M.G.

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