GENE SCHEER (b 1958 )
Gene Scheer, librettist, is a native of New York City, where he currently resides. With Jake Heggie—an avowed champion of writers—Scheer has forged a remarkable creative partnership. In addition to collaborating on Heggie’s three MOR commissions, he was the librettist for many of the composer’s other major works: Moby-Dick; Pieces of 9/11—Memories from Houston; A Question of Light; Three Decembers; the lyric drama To Hell and Back; the song cycles Statuesque and Rise and Fall. In February 2012, the Alexander Quartet and Joyce Di Donato gave the premiere of Heggie and Scheer’s Camille Claudel: Into the Fire. Scheer has partnered with other major composers as well. With Steven Stuckey he wrote the GRAMMY®-nominated oratorio August 4th 1964, which was premiered and recorded by the Dallas Symphony. With Tobias Picker he wrote An American Tragedy, which had its premiere at the Metropolitan Opera. The Chandos recording of the opera Therese Raquin, Scheer’s first collaboration with Picker, was cited by Opera News as one of the ten best recordings of 2002. He is now working with composer Jennifer Higdon on an operatic adaptation of the novel Cold Mountain for Santa Fe Opera. Scheer is also a gifted composer in his own right. His music has been performed by artists including Renée Fleming (with Christoph Eschenbach), Denyce Graves, Sylvia McNair, Stephanie Blythe, Jennifer Larmore, and Nathan Gunn. Norah Jones sang Scheer’s American Anthem in Ken Burns’ The War.