Dear Friends in Louisville,
I’m delighted that our opera, Dead Man Walking, will make its way to you Oct 27 & Oct 29.
I’m terribly disappointed that I have to miss experiencing it with you because I’m recuperating from spinal surgery. I say experiencing the opera, not simply seeing it because it brings you to such searching places of the heart: life and death, vengeance or forgiveness, despair, and hope. The aria of my character, Sister Helen, is “My Journey” and oh my, what a journey it has been, continuing even today. The truth is, naive and untested, I got plunged into accompanying a murderer to his execution, trying to show him the compassion of Christ even as I encountered the rage and sorrow of the victims’ families. You’ll experience the acute struggle right there on the stage, as the families seek to reconcile their loss and I struggle to respond to their anguish even as I embrace the human dignity of the murderer.
The cast of singers are top vintage, and the weaving of the libretto by Terrence McNally with the musical composition of Jake Heggie is exquisite. I couldn’t be happier about the way the opera is true to my lived experiences.
Since I can’t be there to meet you in person, I’ll be present to you in the self-revelations I’ve recorded in Dead Man Walking and the Death of Innocents, which will be available as well as the newly released biography of my life: Helen Prejean: Death Row’s Nun by Joyce Duriga.
Welcome to the journey. I wish they had safety belts in the seats because I promise you: it’s going to be quite a ride.
Sister Helen Prejean