A PERSONAL TAKE
Opera is a beautiful medium, but it's never so beautiful as when it bridges social and cultural divisions through empathetic and effective story telling; what I call “Opera with a Conscience” and it’s what drives me as an artist. Beyond opera, I enjoy singing, playing and combining bluegrass, country, rock, folk, blues with what I've learned in the classical realm with friends, family and colleagues. When I’m not on the stage, I’m spending time with my wife and our two four-legged companions.
Praised for his "gloriously rich" voice and a stage presence that is "superb in every way,” baritone Michael Mayes enjoys a celebrated operatic career in both traditional and contemporary roles with theaters throughout the United States and Europe. After an explosive international debut as Joseph De Rocher in Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking in 2018 with Teatro Real opposite Joyce DiDonato, Mayes quickly established a prominent presence as a leading baritone with multiple engagements in a wide range of roles with important European theaters including Staatsoper Stuttgart, English National Opera, The Barbican, Theatre of Sound, and Bergen National Opera. Now sought after for his mastery of dramatic vocal repertoire, notable recent engagements have included Il Conte di Luna in Il trovatore with Seattle Opera, Central City Opera, and The Glimmerglass Festival; the title role in Wozzeck with Des Moines Metro Opera; an acclaimed debut as Bluebeard in an innovative production by Theater of Sound (UK); and Rigoletto with Houston Grand Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, and Nashville Opera*.
In the 2022-2023 season, Mayes returns to The Atlanta Opera as the title role in the US Premiere of Bluebeard’s Castle, makes his role and company debut as Mr. Potter in It’s a Wonderful Life at English National Opera, sings Alberich in The Dallas Opera’s Das Rheingold, and sings the title role in Saint François d’Assise by Olivier Messiaen at Staatsoper Stuttgart. Mayes recently debuted the role of Captain Von Trapp in The Sound of Music and reprised his role as Daddy in Taking Up Serpents, both at The Glimmerglass Festival. As a Company Player at The Atlanta Opera during the 2020-2022 seasons, Mr. Mayes performed Emperor Overall in Der Kaiser von Atlantis, Escamillio in The Threepenny Carmen, and Older Thompson in the digital production of Glory Denied.