A set of five songs, from poetry by Walter Benton was composed by Jake Heggie and premiered at The Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival on Orcas Island WA, on August 14, 2012. The poetry and music is titled “This is my Beloved." Written for voice and piano trio, it was premiered by Rod Gilfry (baritone), Jake Heggie (piano), Andres Cardenes (violin), and Ann Martindale-Williams (cello).
Jake Heggie provides some background about the piece in the audio file appended below.
This Is My Beloved
Poetry by Walter Benton
Why do they stare at me as I stride the Village streets,
crossing the crossings against the lights and recognizing no one?
Are my eyes too bright? Is my head too high?
Or does it really show, that kiss - does it sit on my lips like a moth
on a leaf, has your kiss blossomed on my mouth into a scarlet flower?