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Jack Beeson

Composer and teacher

Born July 15, 1921, Muncie, Indiana
About Jack Beeson

Beeson considered himself first and foremost an opera composer; his greatest success was with 1965's Lizzie Borden at City Opera. As a professor of composition at Columbia University, Beeson has influenced a new generation of composers, including Charles Wuorinen, Phillip Ramey, Alice Shields, Joan Tower, Harvey Sollberger, Bright Sheng, and Richard Einhorn.

  • Jonah
    Libretto by the composer after the play by Paul Goodman.
  • Hello Out There, opera in one act
    Libretto by the composer after the play by William Saroyan.
    1954, Columbia University, New York, New York
  • The Sweet Bye and Bye
    Libretto by Kenward Elmslie.
    1957, Julliard Opera Theatre, New York, New York
  • Lizzie Borden, opera in three acts
    Libretto by Kenward Elmsie after a scenario by Richard Plant.
    March 25, 1965, New York City Opera
  • Sorry, Wrong Number (1966)
  • My Heart's In the Highlands
    Libretto by the composer after the play by William Saroyan.
    1970, NET Opera Theatre (television premiere)
  • Captain Jinks of the Horse Marines (1975)
  • Doctor Heidegger's Fountain of Youth, chamber opera in one acts
    Libretto by Sheldon Harnick after the story by Nathaniel Hawthorne.
  • Cyrano, Heroic comedy in music
    Libretto by Sheldon Harnick after the play by Edmond Rostand.

Discography Search for recordings of the music of Jack Beeson at Amazon.com

Jack Beeson

Lizzie Borden (premiere production recording)

New York City Opera/Coppola

2 CD / Composers Recordings CD 694 (1965)

Jack Beeson

The Sweet Bye and Bye

Kansas City Lyric Opera/Patterson

2 CD / Citadel 2000 (1995)

Jack Beeson

Captain Jinks of the Horse Marines (out of print)

Kansas City Lyric Theater/Patterson

2 LP / RCA Red Seal ARL2-1727 (1976)

Bibliography Search for books by and about Jack Beeson at Amazon.com

Prescription for Living from Dr. Heidegger's Fountain of Youth

The Gambler's Song from Hello Out There


Boosey & Hawkes American Arias: Bass

Boosey and Hawkes 2004

Mother Rainey's Aria from The Sweet Bye and Bye


Boosey & Hawkes American Arias: Mezzo-Soprano

Boosey and Hawkes 2004

Last update: January 1, 2009