Dead Man Walking


“He will gather us around. Side by side, you and I.”

"He will gather us around. Side by side, you and I."

“He will gather us around. Side by side, you and I.”




7-16 AUGUST 2003

Dead Man Walking, based on a non fictional novel to the same name written by Sister Helen Prejean.
Set in Louisiana in the early 1980’s, Joseph De Rocher sits in his prison cell contemplating his impending execution and remembers the crime he committed. Sister Helen Prejean becomes Joseph’s pen pal throughout his sentence and sits by his side until his final moments.


"Where Dead Man Walking impresses most of all is in its music. Heggie has created an all-American score of beautiful lyrical eloquence, emotional tug and dramatic sweep, drawing skilfully on a plate of sources from Bernstein and Gershwin to later film composers and even Elvis Presley. His effortless, fluid vein of expression and outstanding dramatic pacing immediately establish Dead Man Walking as a landmark in modern opera"

The AustralianGraham Strahle

The operas great achievement is to make you finally feel pity for the apparently irredeemable criminal. Through the daring of its programming, the State Opera of South Australia has another hit on its hands

The AgeJohn Slavin

Confronting and heartfelt, Dead Man Walking is a theatrical triumph for State Opera.

The AdvertiserEwart Shaw


Sister Helen Prejean Kirsti Harms
Joseph de Rocher Teddy Tahu Rhodes
Mrs Patrick de Rohcer Elizabeth Campbell

Sister Rose Rosalind Martin
George Benton David Hibbard
First Prison Guard Stephen Bennett
Second Prison Guard Robert England
Father Grenville Andrew Brunsdon
Howard Boucher Brian Gilbertson
Jade Boucher
Wendy Hopkins
Owen Hart Douglas McNicol
Kitty Hart Merlyn Quaife
State Opera Chorus
Adelaide Symphony Orchestra


Conductor John DeMain
Director Brad Dalton
Set Design Michael Yeargan
Costume Design Sam Fleming
Sound Design Roger Gans
Lighting Design Jennifer Tipton



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